Christmas message from police at the heart of Harrogate area community

Officers and PCSOs making sure everyone stays safe at Harrogate Christmas market.
Officers and PCSOs making sure everyone stays safe at Harrogate Christmas market.

Local policing officers are taking festive safety messages into the heart of Harrogate’s communities this Christmas.

Officers, PCSOs and volunteers working in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Ripon and Pateley Bridge will be on duty throughout the Christmas period, hosting drop-in sessions and carrying out high-visibility patrols across the borough.

They’re also asking residents to play their part in keeping everyone safe, by following crime prevention and home security advice, and checking on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.

Insp Steve Breen, of Harrogate Outer Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Neighbourhood policing is a key part of what we do at North Yorkshire Police.

“Having our dedicated officers, PCSOs and volunteers working in the heart of our communities helps us support and keep people safe all year round.

“This is particularly important at Christmas, which can be a difficult time of year for those who may have little or no family support. We will be working hard to keep vulnerable people safe, and I know that the local community will come together and support them too.”

Insp Penny Taylor, of Harrogate Town Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This may not be the jolliest of Christmas messages, but it’s one that I would like everyone to follow: spend a few minutes now checking your home security to reduce your risk. Being a victim of burglary can be devastating and have a life-long impact on individuals and whole families.

“The more people who take this advice on board, alongside our ongoing proactive policing operations to catch and disrupt offenders in our area, the safer we will become and actually feel in our own homes.”

Police have attended two ‘Keeping Safe’ roadshows in Harrogate town centre, one at Asda and one in the Victoria Centre – both were well attended.

Residents are urged to follow this Christmas crime prevention advice:

* Lock all windows and doors – it’s an obvious one, but it’s worth reinforcing this most basic of crime prevention measures

* Always secure garages, outbuildings, sheds and gates

* Fit security lighting in your garden – remember, criminals hate being seen

* Keep Christmas presents, valuable items and car keys out of sight and out of reach

* Use timer switches to turn lights on while you are out – a well-lit home gives the impression that someone is in

* Don’t leave curtains closed during the day, only in the evening and overnight

* Contact your local officers to arrange dot peen property marking free of charge. If items are lost or stolen, this helps the police identify its rightful owner and provide evidence vital in securing prosecutions

* Photograph those expensive gifts, and register them free of charge at www.immobilise.com

* Always report suspicious activity to the police by calling 101 for non-emergencies

* In an emergency if a crime is in progress or you feel threatened, always dial 999

* If you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can still pass information about suspected crimes to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

For more information about home security and property marking, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/homesecurity or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.