Police campaign to boost business and shopper safety this Christmas

A NEW police campaign is helping people – and businesses – in Dorset have a Safer Christmas.

The initiative, from Dorset Police, aims to remind people of simple safety measures they can take to ensure they don’t become a victim of crime over the festive period.

Superintendent Gavin House, the neighbourhood, partnership and safeguarding lead, said: “This is one of the busiest times of year for shoppers and retailers and there are simple prevention measures people can take to make it harder for thieves.

“We are urging retailers to think carefully about where they place their most valuable stock; to keep it away from doors and window displays and to place it where staff can best keep an eye on it.

“(And) we are urging shoppers to be vigilant to people who may want to steal their wallets and other valuables from their bags, so keep them closed at all times, especially in crowds.”

Supt House said officers are also giving out helpful advice to shoppers when parking their vehicles, as people will often leave purchased gifts on display, making their vehicle an easy target for opportune thieves.

“We are reminding drivers that when parking their vehicle to choose a well-lit spot, ensure their vehicle is locked and never leave any valuables or gifts on display,” he added.

Officers will be out and about in the run up to Christmas, and where possible, will attend shopping events and markets.

Dorset Police has released a series of posters for businesses this Christmas. Picture: Dorset Police

Dorset Police has released a series of posters for businesses this Christmas. Picture: Dorset Police

Chief Inspector Alyssa Forrest, who launched Op Shopkeeper last month, said: “We are working closely with Community Safety partners and the Business Improvement Districts to identify prolific shoplifters and theft hotspots.

“Op Shopkeeper targets prolific shoplifters who are causing the most harm in our communities via theft.

“People who are perpetrating business crime can expect to be dealt with robustly, with potential banning orders and civil orders, on top of criminal convictions.

“By working together, we can help reduce the cost and blight of theft on our communities. We want to send a clear message that Dorset is open for business, but closed for crime.”

Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, added: “As the festive season approaches and our high streets are once again busy with shoppers, it is important that we all play our part to keep ourselves safe.

“I urge Dorset residents and visitors to act on the advice given by Dorset Police and make sure you have done all you can to prevent crimes such as theft taking place.

“In recent weeks, I have been out and spoken to various business owners across Dorset who have told me how serious and damaging incidents of shoplifting can be, especially when it comes to staff being abused or attacked.

“I would like to reassure retailers and their staff that such incidents are not treated lightly and that robust action will be taken against these thieves.”

For more information on the Safer Christmas scheme, and to view the campaign posters, visit

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