Police have been sending known shoplifters Christmas cards as part of a drive to cut down on retail crime in the run up to Christmas.
Titled as Opertion Nutmeg it has been developed with the support of retailers and the PCSP.
Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said, “At the outset we want to make it very clear to shoplifters that their crimes will not be tolerated, we are sending those who have previously been caught shoplifting in this area a Christmas Card, reminding them we are looking out for them and we will also be distributing posters and leaflets reminding potential shoplifters that we will use all lawful means to identify them and bring them to justice.
“We will be stepping up patrols in retail crime hotspots, on both foot and in vehicles and we are particularly focused on criminals who are using the roads to come into this area and commit crime.
“A small dedicated team of officers will specialise in investigating all cases in this district of shoplifting where the store hasn’t been able to detain the suspect, they have been studying the methods and pictures of shoplifters across Northern Ireland in readiness for this initiative.
“We also want to prevent crime and reassure the community in the busy festive period ahead, so we will have extra police patrols in shopping areas to keep you safe and help if you need us.
“This operations builds on the successes of a focus on retail crime that has been running in the District since October 1, during which the police here have arrested 20 shoplifters, released 46 images of suspected shoplifters on our Facebook account, carried out a range of searches to recover stolen property and retail crime has been reduced by 60 % compared to the same timeframe last year.”