Police in Winchester are stepping up patrols and cracking down on shoplifting over the festive season.
Officers will be carrying out both plain clothed and high visibility patrols in the city.
Police have also carried out an operation where a plain clothed officer went into shops and took items without paying. On several occasions the officer was spotted by staff and where he wasn’t spotted, the officer returned to the shop with the goods to tell them what he had done and offer advice on how to spot a shoplifter and prevent thefts.
Sergeant Matt Fancett, said: “We want would-be thieves to know that we will be out and about keeping an eye on all the shops and shoppers.
“We continue to work with BID, Winchester City Council, and local businesses through the ShopWatch scheme. This scheme makes it easier for us to deal with ongoing incidents whilst on patrol. We also work closely with the wardens and Street Pastors to address issues and support each other during the busy run up to Christmas.
“With our extra patrols we want to keep the city centre safer for everyone and we hope both retailers and shoppers have a good Christmas shopping experience.
“And our message to criminals thinking of coming to Winchester to commit crime this Christmas: We’ll be out and about in the city centre throughout the festive season, sometimes in uniform and sometimes undercover; so just remember, just because you can’t always see us, it doesn’t mean we’re not watching you.”