The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched their annual Season’s Greetings Operation to help keep people safe in the run up to Christmas – and the Chair of the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Councillor Clare McConville Walker, is offering her full support.
Dedicated police resources will be deployed across the borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon as well as throughout Northern Ireland to deter and detect criminality and provide visible reassurance.
Councillor Clare McConville Walker said, “At this time of year, it is important to ensure you put your safety first as unfortunately, the festive period means more opportunities for criminals – so I am delighted to add my support to this important campaign to help everyone enjoy a fabulous Christmas while also staying safe.”
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Commander Supt. Kellie McMillan, said: “Operation Season’s Greetings brings together police officers from departments across the service to provide visible and accessible policing to local communities and businesses. This year our focus is on public safety, including when shopping, using the roads, socialising or staying at home.
“We will be conducting focused, preventative patrols across the country, liaising with businesses and licensees to provide safety advice and continuing our dailly business of dealing with crime.
“This year there has been a particular focus on violence against women and girls and during our operation we will increase our presence in nightlife areas and work with the hospitality industry to address issues such as drink spiking and supporting the Health Protection Regulations.
“We will also take active steps to support all victims of domestic abuse. In the past we have seen an increase in domestic abuse incidents over the Christmas period. We want all victims to know that we are here. Do not suffer in silence. Call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”
Councillor McConville Walker, added some vital, practical advice for everyone. “When you go out, make sure you double check all your doors and windows are locked, don’t leave gifts in sight, and think about marking your valuables to make them easier to track. These rules also apply to your car, no matter how quick a trip you’re taking!
“When bagging festive bargains online, don’t get fooled by a too-good-to-be-true deal, and ensure your passwords vary for each site. Only buy from websites you know and trust, and that have a lock symbol in the address bar.
“If you’re out and about enjoying yourself, make sure your personal safety is a top priority. Never, ever drink and drive – if you want a drink, leave the car at home. Decision-making takes a hit when you take a drink, so remember that split-second decisions can have a devastating impact. Make sure you feel safe on a night out and plan your journey home.”
You will find lots of crime prevention help and safety advice at www.psni.police.uk/seasonsgreetings and keep an eye on the Police, PCSP and Council social media channels.
You can also report any suspicious activity online at www.psni.police.uk, by phoning 101 or 999 in an emergency.