THE PSNI have launched their annual Season’s Greetings Operation to keep people safe in the run up to and during the Christmas period.
Officers say they will focus on deterring and detecting criminality and providing visible reassurance during some of the busiest weeks of the year.
Superintendent Gordon McCalmont, Derry City Strabane Policing District’s most senior officer, said: “This year we will have a particular focus on illegal drug activity, retail crime and looking after older people and the more vulnerable in our communities.
“This will involve preventative patrols in key areas and neighbourhoods, liasing with local businesses to provide crime prevention advice, and conducting our daily business of tackling crime.
“This time of year can be difficult for many people and in the past we have seen an increase in the number of domestic abuse reports over the Christmas period. Please do not suffer in silence.
“Within the district we have specialised officers who work alongside partner agencies to support abuse victims. It can also be a lonely time of year for many.
“If you live close to an older or vulnerable person please take the time to check on them and make sure they are safe. Please contact us if you have concerns about the safety of any individual.
“During our operation, we will continue to focus on the sale and use of illegal and dangerous drugs. Illegal drug use creates misery which can intensify at this time of year so we will be proactively targeting those who peddle drugs on our streets and in our communities.
“You can help us during Operation Season’s Greetings by following the crime prevention advice we will share on our social media channels to protect yourself, your home and your property; by being safe and careful on our roads; by looking out for older people and the more vulnerable in your local community and by reporting any suspicious activity to us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
Councillor Sandra Duffy, chair of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), added: “Christmas should be an enjoyable time for all with many family members returning to the city and district over the festive season.
“Unfortunately, it can also be a traumatic time for many with increases in domestic abuse, misuse of alcohol and thefts. I would advise everyone to take heed of police advice over the holiday period to ensure that we can all have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.”