Operation Christmas has been a fixture in Falkirk Council area over the festive season for well over a decade – even when certain COVID-19 restrictions were in place last year – and 2021 will once again see police officers carrying out high visibility patrols across the area’s town centres, working alongside officials, shop keepers and others in a bid to cut crime, and provide support for the most vulnerable members of the community.
Janice Kennedy, Falkirk Delivers street ambassador, said: “It’s just an extra police presence in the town over our busy festive period. It makes the shopkeepers feel more secure as they make a sweep of the area.
"We do sometimes have more shoplifters – sometimes groups coming in from other places – at this time of year. There are two police patrols every four hours. If shopkeepers have any problem the police are right there for them to get help.”
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Other measures, including purse bells, which will allow shoppers to take their own steps to remain as safe as possible are also being rolled out or made available over the next few weeks.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have again launched Operation Christmas which will run until December 31. The operation will include high visibility police patrols of Falkirk town centre and other town centres in the area command.
"We are also working in partnership with Scottish Fire and Rescue, the NHS, Community Safety Partnership, Falkirk BID, Howgate Shopping Centre and other local retailers, Falkirk Mental Health Association and Transform Forth Valley.
Chief Inspector Craig Walker, Falkirk area commander, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the various agencies to keep people safe over the festive period in Falkirk area.
" Today saw the launch of Operation Christmas which will run for the month of December. There will be high visibility foot patrols in Falkirk town centre and other town centres along with crime prevention advice and safety advice from our partners in the command area to keep people safe."