Operation Hamper launches to help keep Salisbury safe over the festive period

Alert message sent 21/11/2019 15:42:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so let’s all work together to keep our city safe”.

That’s the message from Insp Pete Sparrow as we head into the busy festive period. 

With the Christmas lights switch-on in Salisbury taking place tonight and the market set to open in a matter of days, local officers are asking the public and local businesses to get on board to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. 

Operation Hamper will involve a mixture of overt and covert tactics to target those intent on committing crime in the city. 

Priority patrols will be held regularly over the coming weeks and officers will be out and about engaging with local shop workers, off-licences and pub landlords offering advice on how they can help us keep the city safe. 

Insp Pete Sparrow said: “As we approach the festive period, we expect to see a rise in shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in and around the city centre. In a bid to prevent this, we’ll be using a mixture of policing methods alongside our partners in CCTV, Venture Security, Salisbury BID and ShopWatch to deny space for criminals to act, detect offences in progress and deter offenders wanting to come to Salisbury. 

“Salisbury is a beautiful city and people come from far and wide to visit, especially at Christmas time - we are calling on the public and local businesses to support us in keeping our city safe.”

Officers will be liaising with local shops and urging them to sign up to ShopWatch – a scheme organised by Salisbury BID to ensure liaison between businesses and the police to discourage anti-social behaviour. To date, approximately 35 shops have signed up to the scheme.

Yesterday, police licensing officer Sue Thurman Newell and PC Toby McKee paid a visit to the city centre off-licences and reminded them of their responsibilities.

Insp Sparrow added: “Off-licences have a responsibility to work with us under the Licensing Act to prevent crime and disorder, maintain public safety, prevent public nuisance and protect children from harm. As part of Op Hamper, we will be regularly engaging with off-licences to prevent the sale of alcohol to those who are drunk and to children.

“In previous years we have had issues with anti-social behaviour in the city - we will be taking a robust approach towards any individuals committing this type of crime and preventing others from enjoying the festivities safely.”

Robin McGowan, Chief Executive of Salisbury BID added: “One of the BID’s key objectives is to support businesses by reducing retail crime, and we’re working hard with our partners at the police and City Council to achieve this. 

“The city’s radio scheme links shops, security guards, the BID’s City Ranger, the CCTV control room and police, which allows all partners to communicate and work closely together to help prevent and tackle crime. We invite all shops in the city centre to get in touch with the BID about joining our ShopWatch and radio scheme. 

“We would also like to remind people that the city’s CCTV system is fully operational, thanks to the funding from Salisbury BID and Salisbury City Council, and that this is regularly used as evidence to prosecute criminals.”

If you see a crime taking place, call 999. Call 101 for all other enquiries.
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Katie Bond (Police, Media Officer, Wiltshire)

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