December 9, 2021 10.45 am This story is over 30 months old

Operation Rudolf: Don’t let criminals ruin Christmas

New annual campaign to tackle opportunistic crime over the holiday period to help keep our communities safe

Christmas is a busy time of the year for everyone – and the festive season can mean criminals are busier than ever.

This year we’re launching Operation Rudolf, a new annual campaign for the holiday period to tackle opportunistic crime to help keep our communities safe.

It is a force-wide effort. Officers from our Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be proactively working with licenced premises and retailers to provide advice on crime prevention measures, and will patrol their communities at peak times as a deterrent to thieves who may try to take advantage of busy shopping centres and supermarkets. They will be supported by our Response Officers, dog units, and tactical teams to respond swiftly to incidents and keep people safe.

Our NPTs will also be keeping a close eye on those members of our communities who we know are more vulnerable to opportunistic thieves, and have crime prevention advice leaflets with some top tips to share.

Our cyber crime teams will be working hard to reduce the risk from those who would target you online, while our intelligence units and detectives will be busy following up leads on potential incidents, identifying offenders, and arresting those already wanted for acquisitive crime or other offences. Where possible, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

We are also encouraging people to follow our social media pages, where we will be posting advice throughout the month.

Here’s our advice from the dedicated Crime Prevention Team:

  • Don’t make your home a shop window. Don’t leave presents or valuables in view, close curtains when it gets dark, and lock windows and doors (even if you are home).
  • Don’t make your home attractive to burglars by leaving it in darkness. Use a timer switch, leave a lamp on or invest in a cost-effective crime reduction product.
  • If your car is iced over, do not leave it running whilst you stay warm inside. It takes seconds to steal and will invalidate your insurance leaving you with no car.
  • Do not keep large sums of cash in the house. If this is unavoidable ensure it is locked away in a safe.
  • Keep your receipts. Insurance companies often won’t pay out without proof of purchase.
  • If you’re out for the night, plan your return journey. Do not use unlicensed taxis, drink responsibly and be aware of surroundings.
  • Always lock your vehicle and never leave anything on view, such as Sat Navs, wallets, presents, or cash.
  • Christmas shopping is expensive! Keep wallets, purses and phones in a zipped pocket or bag, and not in your back pocket.
  • Be mindful of what you are posting on social media. Don’t publish your whereabouts or expensive presents you have received.
  • At the cash machine be aware of who is around you. Cover the keypad with your hand before entering a pin. Put cash away immediately.
  • When you get home, place your keys and wallets away from letterboxes, either in a drawer or upstairs. Use a Faraday bag to protect bank cards and electronic keys.

If you come across anything suspicious, please contact 101 or 999 in an emergency.