THE seasonal crackdown on Christmas crime has been launched by the borough’s police.
Operation Reindeer will see patrols stepped up at hotspots and officers patrolling town centres during the day, maintaining radio contact with retailers and CCTV operators to help prevent shoplifting and pickpocketing.
Purse bells are being handed out to shoppers to keep thieves at bay, and police are also maintaining a strong presence around car parks to help prevent items’ being stolen from vehicles.
To combat under-age liquor sales, bobbies are visiting licensed premises with council officials, and venues are being encouraged to serve drink responsibly as part of GMP’s Think Safe Drink Safe campaign.
At night, early-intervention tactics are being used to prevent any trouble from escalating, and “direction to leave” notices are being issued to those whose presence in an area is likely to contribute to disorder.
The extensive CCTV networks in Leigh and Wigan town centres will be used to help police manage incidents.
Police are working closely with door-staff across the borough to create a safe environment, and are using drugs torches to identify those who have taken illegal substances. These people will then be barred from entering licensed premises.
Insp Glenn Jones, said: “Town centres are popular at this time of year due to the concentration of shops, bars and clubs, and we have been preparing thoroughly for the festive period.
“The success of operations like this often comes down to early police intervention, and our officers will act quickly and robustly to deal with any incidents that threaten public safety.”