ESSEX Police will have a strong presence at intu Lakeside shopping centre over the festive period to help ensure shoppers have a safe and enjoyable visit.
Operation Christmas Presence launches on Friday, December 1, and will run until Sunday, December 31.
Police officers, PCSOs and Active Citizens will be engaging with shoppers and proactively focusing on discouraging anyone who wants to commit crime.
There will be high visibility patrols and roads policing officers will also be carrying out patrols and stop checks on vehicles using the surrounding roads.
Officers will be working closely with intu Lakeside’s security staff and CCTV operators, as well as officers from British Transport Police.
Robust action will be taken against anyone intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour.
Inspector Paul Ballard, who is leading the operation, said: “About 2.5million shoppers are expected to visit intu Lakeside over Christmas and New Year.
“By working in partnership with the centre, we have been extremely successfully in building strong relationships with shop and security staff, which in turn enables us to deal quickly with those intent on committing crime.
“We advise shoppers to take a few simple security precautions to help keep them at bay, such as avoiding leaving bags in their cars , making sure any valuables are out of sight or locked in the boot and being aware of their surroundings and valuables.
“If you see a crime in progress or notice any suspicious activity, please contact either us or an intu Lakeside staff member immediately.”