POLICE are once again working in partnership with Lakeside in the busy run up to Christmas to ensure shoppers have an enjoyable, crime-free shopping experience.
Officers from the Lakeside policing team will join forces with Lakeside security to step-up the patrol of the centre and car parks to make sure the thousands of daily visitors have the best possible shopping trip.
Shoppers will be able to get practical safety advice from officers patrolling the centre and officers on push- and motorbikes will also patrol Lakeside’s 15 outdoor car parks.
Sergeant Chris Hay, who leads the policing team at Lakeside, said: “Every day we work in close partnership with Lakeside, so it is only natural we step this up at the busiest time of year. Lakeside is and always has been a safe place to shop, and with the additional police resources in place through Operation Christmas Presence, we can not only reassure shoppers of this safety, but also send out a robust message to criminals that they are not welcome here.”
Paul Lancaster, Lakeside’s General Manager, says: “With late opening hours and free parking for 13,000 cars, Lakeside is the perfect place to shop this Christmas. To further increase safety and enhance the shopping experience, we’ll be offering our popular free Shop and Drop throughout December. Shoppers can securely drop their bags off at the Shop and Drop desk on Level 1 by Next, and then collect them by car from an outside collection point on their way home.”
The service has been greatly welcomed and much used by shoppers in previous years.
Operation Christmas Presence has been successfully used by Essex Police at Lakeside since 2008.