POLICE in Scarborough have launched a huge seasonal crackdown to cut festive crime in the town.
The annual Christmas operation has been officially launched and will run until New Year’s Day to safeguard shoppers against opportunist thieves.
An influx of officers are set to scour key areas across the town centre, with police also boosting undercover surveillance.
The scheme works through a partnership between Scarborough Police, the town’s Safer Communities group, Shop Watch and the use of CCTV footage.
Cllr Janet Jefferson, chairman of the Scarborough Anti-Theft Group, said: “We to promote safe shopping for all our residents and visitors and also prevent other acts of anti social behaviour.
“Our shop link radios – of which there are over 90 - also interlink with the council’s CCTV system and both Alan Bruce, our main co-ordinator, and I, commend this excellent partnership and indeed all our shop guards who play a vital part in the success of our group.
“This operation will mean that more police will be visible in the town centre to reduce crime and provide reassurance during shop opening hours.”
Sgt Jacqui Raynor, of Scarborough Police, is helping to co-ordinate the operation and made an appeal for store owners and workers to be vigilant during the festive period.
She added: “I am asking business premises to promote crime prevention and to ask staff if they see anyone with a bag, purse or wallet open on display, to point out and inform the owner of the dangers.
“A few words of advice can stop someone having a Christmas nightmare.”
Scarborough Anti Theft Group was formed 1991, and began with just of ﬁve different members.
It has since expanded and now boasts more than 100 members, including many large shops and businesses within the town centre.