Northern Ireland

Police send shoplifters Christmas cards

PSNI Craigavon Facebook picture Image copyright PSNI
Image caption It is hoped Operation Nutmeg will deter criminals from attempting to steal during the busy Christmas shopping period

Police in Northern Ireland are sending Christmas cards to shoplifters to remind them they are being watched.

A PSNI Craigavon Facebook post warned criminals that a "dedicated team" of officers would be monitoring past offenders closely in the coming weeks.

It is hoped the operation - Op Nutmeg - will deter criminals from attempting to steal during the busy Christmas shopping period.

It will be rolled out in cities and towns across Northern Ireland.

"Today we launch Op Nutmeg," read the PSNI post. "It is, in part, as festive as it sounds! To start with, being the caring bunch we are, we're sending Christmas cards to our frequent flyers, reminding them that we're watching.

"We'll be making it clear to them, in no uncertain terms, that their sort of work is not welcome in ABC district.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption A post on PSNI Craigavon's facebook page warned criminals that a "dedicated team" of officers would be monitoring past offenders closely

"We now have a dedicated team [of officers] who have been up close and personal with some of our prolific shop lifters. They will be out and about, supported by colleagues in local policing and district support teams."

The post added that every day of the festive season would see "multiple extra crews" policing the district.

"We'll be targeting vehicles and individuals known to be involved in crime, patrolling shopping areas, and keeping an eye on residential areas while folk are at work or shopping," it read.

Appealing to the public for help, it read: "Just last night there was a break in in Portadown, so we need you to keep an eye on neighbours. Report any suspicious activity, whether it be vehicles you know shouldn't be there, or people snooping around.

"Call 101 any time of day or night, or 999 in an emergency. If you're in a shop and see someone shoving something inside their jacket, removing security tags, or blatantly up to badness, let security or shop staff know immediately."