Horsham police to target shoplifters over Christmas period

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Horsham police will be making a special effort to target shoplifters in the area over the Christmas period.

Operation Tinsel aims to reduce incidents of theft, anti-social behaviour and to reduce the fear of crime.

Leading up to the festive season there tends to be an increase in retail thefts.

In Horsham, officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols throughout the festive period to identify and target offenders by various means including uniformed and plain clothes patrols, utilising the Shopwatch radio system and CCTV and working in partnership with shops and licensed premises.

Purse thefts tend to increase around this time of year as the shops get more crowded in the busy pre-Christmas period and there is often an increase in this type of crime. By taking some simple crime prevention measures, people can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft:

Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, held securely under your arm or strapped across your body if possible.

Never leave bags unattended - e.g. on a trolley, pushchair or wheelchair

Be aware of anyone acting suspiciously, such as getting too close to you or trying to distract you by bumping into you - such behaviour should be reported to police, security or shop staff immediately

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash around with you and don’t let anyone see what’s in your purse or wallet as you are paying

Never keep your PIN number with your bank cards

Sergeant Vicky Tomlinson said: “If anyone is thinking about visiting our local towns to commit crime then think again. We’re sending out a strong message to thieves that shoplifting and theft will not be tolerated. Offenders caught stealing can expect to be dealt with robustly.”