Wiltshire Police has announced a successful first week of the festive Op Dasher.
This is the annual initiative targeting crime and antisocial behaviour across the Christmas period.
Since the operation’s launch last Saturday, 16 reported offences have been dealt with, with local officers making 12 arrests and implementing two community resolutions.
Four people were arrested following six fail to attend warrants being issued by the courts for them, while officers also conducted five stop searches – two of which resulted in the recovery of stolen goods.
Section 35 dispersal orders, which exclude a person from an area for a period up to 48 hours, were introduced 17 times to give shoppers and businesses alike safe and peaceful festive shopping experiences, while officers patrolling the streets also submitted 24 intelligence reports.
Acting Inspector Winter, based in Swindon, said: “It has been a great start to Op Dasher. The campaign was introduced due to the increase in footfall and the accompanying rise in crime and anti-social behaviour in the run up to Christmas, and that’s what we’re targeting.
“Officers have been out on the streets conducting high-visibility patrols, working with our partners from the council, Pubwatch and businesses to ensure everyone can have a safe and merry experience over the festive period.
“We have made a number of arrests in conjunction with our Wanted this Winter campaign where we target offenders who have failed to appear in court, but we are also keen to use community resolutions where appropriate.
“These are methods of restorative justice and are an alternate way of dealing with less serious crimes.
“On one occasion, following interaction about their circumstances, a vulnerable person was deterred from stealing food and instead signed up to the foodbank where they can now access vital supplies, meaning they won’t have to shoplift.
“In the coming weeks, you will continue to see more officers out and about to combat crime and to offer reassurance to the public and business community.
“If you see them, please feel free to say hello and raise any concerns you have about your community.”
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