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Operation to stop crime this Christmas launched by Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police has launched a force-wide operation to tackle crime during the festive season.

Operation Shepherd is a comprehensive campaign involving numerous teams to tackle crime across Merseyside during November and December.

During the operation Merseyside Police will use covert tactics and high visibility policing, and the public can expect to see more officers on the street as they work to keep businesses and residents safe.

Patrols will be stepped up across Merseyside in an effort to prevent serious and organised crime as well as offences such as burglary, robbery, sexual assault, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour, drink or drug driving and flouting of Covid regulations.

Merseyside Police will also be working hard to identify offenders and keep people safe after lockdown comes to an end and restrictions ease so they can enjoy the festive season safely.

Superintendent Steve Brizell, who is leading the operation, said: “Merseyside is a fantastic place and the vast majority of the people who live and work here are a credit to our area.

“However, there will be a minority intent on committing crime during this festive period so we have launched our annual seasonal campaign Operation Shepherd to keep our communities safe and ensure we catch anyone breaking the law and put them before the courts.

“Crime shatters lives. I doubt that anyone who has been a victim of crime has easily forgotten the experience and it will be something that stays with them for life.

“That is totally unacceptable and we will be doing everything within our power to ensure that callous individuals intent on committing crime are taken off our streets. We ask that communities help us do this by continuing to report offences or any suspicious behaviour so we can ensure people’s Christmas and New Year are remembered for the right reasons.”

Operation Shepherd is a strategic campaign involving intelligence-led policing to inform our activity on the ground which will include high visibility patrols, plain clothes officers, officers from the dog and mounted sections and air support.

Officers will be patrolling retail parks and areas where there are businesses to offer advice on how to improve their security including the use of DNA marking solutions, tracking devices, CCTV and fogging machines which fill premises with smoke when triggered.

We will also be continuing to support and keep a watchful eye over the vulnerable members of our communities and will be deploying specialist domestic abuse patrol cars during the period to help those who are suffering behind closed doors.

Supt Brizell added: “We all have a part to play in ensuring everyone is kept safe this festive season.

“If you know someone is suffering at the hands of another, witness a crime taking place or see any suspicious behaviour call us so we can take action – your call could save a life from being shattered.

“This has been an incredibly hard year for everyone, a year unlike any other in living memory. I want to appeal directly to those involved in crime – search your conscience and consider how your actions will haunt your victims in this already difficult time.

“If you opt not to listen, our message is clear – there will be no hiding place. We will use every tactic available to us to track you down and put you before the courts where you can expect to feel the full force of the law.”

READ MORE: New dedicated safeguarding website and advice line launched by Counter Terrorism Policing

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