NORTH EAST DIVISION police commanders are urging communities in Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen to ensure that they look out for the most vulnerable in their midst.
Officers have been joining forces with retailers and local partners to deliver festive campaigns that seek to keep communities and visitors safe.
Chief Inspector Murray Main said: “Christmas is a great time of the year although equally, it can be a really busy time with lots going on and people rushing around trying to make last minute purchases or finalise their plans.
“We want people to have fun but not forget some basic safety messages that will help ensure people stay safe and enjoy the festivities.
“We know that people will be planning to go out for a few drinks as part of office parties, meeting up with friends and family or merely to celebrate the start of the Christmas break from work.
“However, some people will drink more than they are used too and may behave out of character, placing themselves and others at risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime.”
Pointing to communities in the division area as being among the safest places to live and work, CI Main pointed to the many vibrant towns and villages with plenty to offer and where a wonderful festive atmosphere will exist.
He added: “We can, however, experience specific challenges in the run up to both Christmas and New Year and as a result, additional Police Officers and Special Constables are on patrol to deal with any increased demand.
“A small number of people will look to take advantage of the situation to commit retail crimes, including shoplifting or other thefts such as stealing handbags, purses or wallets. Our teams of additional staff will be working all over Christmas and New Year tackling crime, responding to incidents and taking proactive steps to manage any spikes in specific crimes or areas and target those responsible.
“We still need individuals to play their role in keeping themselves, loved ones and property safe.
“And to support retailers, their staff, shoppers and people living in these areas, we are working closely with our partners and increasing the high visibility patrols across the region to deter offending, deal quickly with incidents and reassure people who may feel vulnerable in such busy environments.”