Operation Cracker set to target shoplifters over the festive period

Missing Paul Whing has been found
Missing Paul Whing has been found

Buxton officers are set to crack down on shoplifting over the festive season as part of an annual Operation Cracker campaign.

Operation Cracker, which launched on Monday, November 7, will see officers carrying out increased patrols around Buxton town centre in the run up to Christmas.

The Safer Neighbourhood team will be carrying out high visibility and plain clothes patrols in a bid to deter thieves and catch shoplifters in the act.

Officers will also be speaking to shoppers to offer crime prevention advice to help them to stay safe while out and about shopping.

The local Buxton Retailers Against Crime (BRAC) group held their quarterly meeting last week in support of Operation Cracker. During the meeting, group members agreed on a list of known shoplifters who would be banned from all BRAC stores for the next 12 months to help tackle the issue.

PC Mark Parkinson, from the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “At this time of year we can often see a slight increase in the number of shop thefts reported, and Operation Cracker is set to challenge that.

“We will be carrying out patrols in the town to identity offenders and stop thieves in the act, along with offering crime prevention advice and reassurance to shoppers.

“Buxton is a safe and enjoyable place to shop, especially over the festive season, and this operation aims to keep it that way.”

Top tips for safe shopping includes:

Always keep valuables such as mobile phones, cameras and purses, which are attractive to thieves, on your person and out of view;

Keep your handbag zipped and carry it under your arm, with the opening on the inside;

Make sure you don’t leave bags or handbags unattended on shopping trolleys or under tables at cafes, for example;

Never carry your PIN in the same purse or wallet as your bank cards;

Get hold of a purse chain that will secure your purse or wallet to the inside of a bag or belt loop, alerting you straight away if someone tries to steal it;

Don’t keep your wallet in a back pocket – store it in an inside pocket of your trousers or jacket, or in a secure bag;

Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and report anything you see to police on 101, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or, in an emergency, 999.

For more information or to speak to the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team call 101, or send them a message at www.derbyshire.police.uk.

For the latest policing news in Buxton follow the team’s Twitter account @BuxtonTownSNT.