Falkirk’s Christmas crackdown

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Shoppers can expect a warm welcome from Falkirk traders this December. Shoplifters and troublemakers can expect to be arrested.

That is the no-nonsense message from Central Scotland Police as Operation Christmas gets underway today (Thursday). The annual festive crackdown on crime to reassure visitors they can enjoy the town’s stores, restaurants, cafes and bars in safety will involve high profile patrols by officers during the day and into the early hours of the morning. In the town’s major stores and shopping malls including The Howgate and Callendar Square, security teams will be on alert for any criminal or anti social behaviour. They will be supported by an army of help including Falkirk Council’s Community Safety team, Business Improvement District street ambassadors, street pastors, the Red Cross and St Andrew’s Ambulance service.

Police officers and shopkeepers stand together for Operation Christmas

Police officers and shopkeepers stand together for Operation Christmas

Local police will liaise with colleagues from Lothian and Borders and Fife Constabularies to tackle the threat posed by known gangs of shoplifters who might be making their way here. British Transport Police will also be involved tracking their movements.

Every weekend between now and the New Year, taxi marshalls will be on duty at the rank in Lower Newmarket Street and, thanks to a deal with First Bus, also at Falkirk Bus Station to make sure late night revellers leaving the clubs and pubs get safely home.

Chief Inspector Gordon Taylor said: “There will be a visible show of strength to ensure the town remains safe during the festive period. We will be working very closely with our partners within the Falkirk Area Command to gather and act on information.

“We will be visiting licensed premises to ensure licencing laws are followed and that premises are operating safely, but also asking people to drink sensibly and have a Christmas night out to remember, not one to forget because their behaviour has brought them to our attention. We want everyone to have an enjoyable time, but will make it uncomfortable for those who try and spoil it for others.”