Christmas crime busting blitz

Cutting crime in the run up to Christmas is the aim of a town centre initiative.

More police patrols and a radio link-up between shops in Stevenage are part of Operation Twist, aimed at stopping shoplifters and those who commit anti-social behaviour.

During November and December officers will work alongside CCTV operatives and nearly 50 stores that have signed up to a ShopWatch scheme, launched earlier this year, to deter thieves, cash machine fraud and damage to vehicles. They will also be on the look out for persistent and prolific offenders who have been banned from the town centre.

Stevenage Pc Andy Spencer said: “The ShopWatch scheme has proved really successful over the last six months and we are delighted with the number of businesses which have come on board, not only in the town centre but also in outlying supermarkets including Sainsbury at Coreys Mill and Magpie Crescent. It’s a really great example of partnership working within the town”.

“We will be a very visible presence in the town during the festive shopping period and we would ask members of the public to feel free to approach us. We want criminals to know that if they do come into the town to commit crime, there’s a very good chance they’ll get caught.”