Extra police on the beat this Christmas

EXTRA police patrols will be deployed across Banbridge as Christmas and the New Year approaches.

Area Commander, Chief Inspector Ken Mawhinney said the patrols would aim to deter and detect crime and motoring offences.

“These patrols are part of Operation Season’s Greetings which, as well as concentrating on high visibility patrolling at key times during the day and at night, also includes drink-driving and road safety operations, and anti-burglary operations. Local police will also be supporting the ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign and domestic abuse awareness campaigns. These initiatives will take place throughout Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.

“The patrols will involve personnel from Response sectors, Neighbourhood Police Teams, Tactical Support Groups, Crime Teams and road policing units.

“We have consistently been pushing our road safety messages and reminding motorists that they should slow down, wear a seat belt and never drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Specific operations to detect drunken drivers will be mounted, and these will aim to identify the so-called ‘morning after’ drivers, as well as those driving home from licensed premises at night.

“Dedicated town centre foot patrols will be in place in towns and villages and officers will be visiting major retailers to offer crime prevention advice.

“We are also urging people to take personal responsibility for their own actions and behaviour over Christmas and the New Year. That is the best way to avoid becoming involved in trouble, or earning a criminal record.”

Chief Inspector Mawhinney said that Christmas was not a time of rest for criminals.

“They will be out there looking to gain an advantage at the expense of honest people and it’s as important to think of crime prevention after Christmas as before it.

“And as always, local people can help by looking out for criminal activity and reporting their suspicions to police immediately.”

Police can be contacted the non-emergency number, 0845 600 8000. In an emergency, dial 999. Information about crime can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.