IT’S December the first, which marks the start of the countdown to Christmas and also the launch of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Christmas campaign Operation Safe and Nice to All (SANTA).
‘Presence not presents’ is the message the force is sending to people in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys this Christmas. Sergeants Steve Glynn and Andrew Oxley, Llandeilo Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Donovan Kerr, and Police Dogs (PDs) Jazz and Aly launched the campaign at rural Carmarthenshire village, Bethlehem.
The seasonal campaign emphasises the force’s commitment to the community and reminds people how to enjoy themselves safely by providing a mix of ingredients of safety advice, reminders of the consequences of committing offences, an insight to life behind the scenes at Dyfed-Powys Police at Christmas and a sprinkling of fun and surprises along the way.
Police officers will be increasing their patrols throughout the festive period to deter anti-social behaviour and crime as well as offer reassurance and advice in their communities to help people to feel safe.
T/Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for some, particularly for those who are lonely or vulnerable. Our focus this year is on presence not presents, so nobody feels they are without help over the festive period.
“We take pride in being a police force of and for our communities, and will take a strong stance against those who cause misery for others at this time of year.
“We’re very fortunate in Dyfed-Powys to live and work in a safe place with low crime, but at Christmas time it is easy to forget to take the sensible safety steps we would usually take. Through Op Santa we will be reminding people of the things they can do to keep themselves, their loved ones and their property safe and secure.
“Our crime figures show the offence we tend to see the most significant spike in over Christmas is common assault. We know this is often fuelled by excessive alcohol. While we don’t want to dampen people’s Christmas spirits, part of our policing duty through Op Santa is to remind people of the very real consequences of committing this type of offence. They include: permanently damaging or even killing a victim; a criminal record or prison sentence, which could affect future career and travel plans and being banned from participating pubs, bars and clubs. The best thing to do when faced with confrontation or aggression is to walk away.
“I hope everyone enjoys our Op Santa campaign and also finds the information provided of use in keeping them safe during the forthcoming festivities.”
For a regular dose of Christmas advice look out for our #OpSanta advent calendar on the Dyfed-Powys Police Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DPPPolice). Also follow us on Twitter @DyfedPowys.