PSNI patrols upped for holiday period

THE PSNI say it will have more officers on the streets of South Derry and East Tyrone as the festive season gets into full swing this month.

Extra officers will be deployed as part of a series of high visibility patrols at clubs and pubs, roads and residential areas in a bid to combat crimes such as drink-driving and burglaries which increases during the festive season. ‘Operation Season’s Greetings’ will operate right into the New Year and will involve personnel from Response sectors, Neighbourhood Police Teams, Tactical Support Groups, Crime Teams and road policing units. Chief Inspector Jane Humphries, the area commander for Dungannon and Cookstown, said the special operation aimed to “deter and detect” crime and motoring offences.

She said: “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.

“We have consistently been detecting drunken drivers week in and week out during the year. Those who think they can continue to get away with drinking and driving need to think again. They may have been lucky before, but they will not always be lucky.

“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 Humphries 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 can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.