Criminals are putting their hands in their pockets to pay for a crackdown on Christmas crime in Halifax town centre.
POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) money is being used by officers to fund the initiative which will see increased patrols in the town centre as the ‘Spirit of Halifax’ event begins, marking the start of the festive season.
The patrols will specifically target retail theft, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime but will also provide a highly visible and reassuring presence in the town.
The Mounted Section will also be supporting the operation.
Inspector Colin Skeath said: “It is important to send a message out to criminals that they are not welcome and will not be tolerated in Halifax.
“By providing a highly visible and reassuring presence we will make criminals think twice before committing crime and in turn help to reassure people going about their daily business.”
As well as proving a reassuring presence, officers will also be proving crime prevention advice to help keep Halifax a safe place to live in and visit.
Sgt Jayne Maiden of the Central Neighbourhood Policing Team is an officer who is dedicated entirely to the town centre.
“We will be hosting a series of crime prevention and retail awareness events in the town centre which showcase the work we do as service across Calderdale and give residents some important and straight-forward crime prevention advice,” added Sgt Maiden.
“These events are completely free and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along - there are some very simple steps people can take to greatly reduce their chances of being a victim of crime and discussing these with a police officer or PCSO can really help to get the important message across.
“We have also booked our exhibition unit to really help make this an impactive message.”
The following events will be held in the town centre: Halifax Precinct - Wednesday, 10am - 3pm; Halifax Woolshops - Thursday, 2pm - 8pm (to coincide with late night shopping); Halifax Precinct - next Tuesday - 10am - 3pm; Halifax Woolshops - next Wednesday - 1pm - 6pm (to coincide with late night shopping); Halifax Precinct - Monday, December 16 - 10am - 3pm; Halifax Woolshops - Tuesday, December 17 - 2pm - 8pm (to coincide with late night shopping).
There will also be static displays in the Woolshops and central library and bluetooth technology will be used to help spread the crime prevention message.
And, an important part of the operation will be linking in with partners.
“We are also working closely with the Community Safety Partnership HOW and Halifax Business Against Crime (HBAC). As part of this we are having a seasonal Shop Watch meeting where we will be proving information about individuals who are believed to be actively committing crime in Halifax to help empower retailers to prevent offences occurring,” Sgt Maiden added.