Police Visit 500 Shops To Tackle Crime

Suffolk Police will be visiting over 500 post offices and small stores across the county to deliver crime reduction advice this autumn, to try to reduce the number of robberies and burglaries as part of Operation Arctic.

Crime prevention information packs will be given out by Safer Neighbourhood Teams over the next few weeks. There are two packs, one that goes specifically to post offices and the other that goes to small stores. The packs contain key messages and simple advice to help keep stores safe and avoid being targeted, including a display poster and postcards to be handed out to neighbours and local residents.

Chief Inspector Kerry Pauling of Community Safety said: "During the darker winter months, criminals can take the opportunity to prey on stores when they seem more vulnerable. We want to give post office and shop managers information they can use to protect their businesses. By following some simple pieces of crime prevention advice, such as locking staff doors and having good lighting outside, owners can keep themselves, their customers and their businesses safe and keep criminals at bay."

As well as issuing crime prevention packs throughout the county, officers throughout the county will carry out high visibility patrols in vulnerable areas as a deterrent to criminals and to offer reassurance to those premises. Post Office Ltd also has its own security service to gather, assess and cascade information about suspicious incidents at offices.

Operation Arctic has run for the past three years in Suffolk to prevent and detect robberies at post offices and stores, and ATM thefts, with a great deal of success. However, while Suffolk remains a safe county police are warning people not to become complacent, following a burglary at a Co-op store in Woodbridge at the end of August.

Chief Inspector Pauling added: "These businesses are often the heart of the community and through our visits, patrols and other measures we are aiming to protect them, but we are also asking store managers and people who live near these premises to help protect them too. It is likely that a criminal will visit the shop they want to target in the hours, days or weeks leading up to the offence. This could simply be driving past or sitting in vehicles outside. If the community acts as an extra set of eyes and ears, information passed to us could stop these visits before they become a serious incident."