Stay safe in festivities

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Christmas might soon be upon us but there has certainly been no slow-down in our efforts to keep Nottinghamshire safe.

Hundreds of police officers, volunteers, Special Constables and staff are working around the clock in the run-up to the festive period to ensure we can all enjoy a safe holiday with our families.

These dedicated people will be working throughout the Christmas period – including Christmas Day itself – looking after others and ensuring they do not come to any harm.

Criminals operate 24-7 and Christmas can be very lucrative for offending.

Not only are the goods in our homes and retail stores more valuable, in many ways criminality is easier because people are too preoccupied with festive preparations to consider personal security.

Both retailers and residents will need to be on their guard over the coming weeks to ensure they take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their property and avoid becoming a victim of crime.

We are already experiencing an increase in shoplifting.

Although this is not completely unexpected given that it is Christmas, retailers could and should take more responsible measures to deter thieves including removing valuable items away from shop entrances.

The figures this year suggest that after a long period of declining crime in Nottinghamshire, and indeed nationally, the tide is beginning to turn.

The Chief Constable is working hard with colleagues to develop plans to tackle this. But of course, I should point out that there are some types of crime, such as domestic abuse, serious sexual assault and hate crime, where we are keen to see an increase in reporting.

Pleasingly, incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area have steadied while robbery and burglaries have seen huge decreases.

Theft of motor vehicles has also fallen as have vehicle offences.

The next month is a testing time as we respond to the effects of excessive alcohol during the party season.

We have prepared accordingly and will be increasing our numbers within the night-time economy to reassure revellers and to respond to problems quickly.

However, I would urge anybody planning a festive night out to take responsibility for their own safety by keeping valuables close, arranging safe transport home and drinking sensibly. A peaceful Christmas and New Year should be top of everybody’s list. I personally wish everybody a happy and above all safe festive season.