Operation Gunmetal aims to stop thieves rifling Grays

Police have launched an operation to stop criminals visiting Grays High Street in the run up to Christmas.

As part of Operation Gunmetal, officers will be conducting high visibility patrols in the area to deter pickpockets and shoplifters as the High Street’s volume of visitors is set to increase in the busy Christmas shopping period.

Sgt Graham Holmes said: “We regularly patrol the High Street all year through, but at this time of year, it is even more important that we increase our presence here. The majority of people are visiting the area to do their shopping, but thieves will often target shoppers at this time of year, as more people are distracted and it provides an opportunity to pick pocket or steal from shops.

“We want to send out a clear message to criminals that Grays wont be easy-pickings for them, and we will arrest anyone found committing crime to make sure shoppers and retailers have a crime-free Christmas.”

Police are advising people to keep all their personal belongings safe whilst shopping. Thurrock crime reduction officer, Alan Twine, added: “Where possible, try to not to carry large amounts of cash on you. If you wear a handbag, wear it across your body and under your coat to prevent easy access by would-be thieves.

“It is easy to get distracted in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, but please be aware of your surroundings, and if you see anyone behaving suspiciously, report it to police immediately.”

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