Local News

Police campaign to target shoplifting in Andover

Christmas Shopping Andover Police

Officers from Andover’s Neighbourhood Policing Team will be out in force to deter shoplifters in the run-up to Christmas.

Operation Scrooge will see officers liaise with retailers, give advice to shoppers and carry out high-visibility patrols in Andover town centre and its retail parks.

The operation starts on Saturday 24 November, when members of the team will put on a crime prevention stall in the High Street between 10am and 2pm, to remind shoppers of the steps they can take to protect themselves and their property.

The campaign is due to finish on Monday 31 December.

Sergeant Mike Thorne, of Andover’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said, “As Christmas approaches, more and more people will be out and about in our town’s shops and banks.

“Andover is a safe place to live and work but it is not immune to people who wish to take advantage of shoppers and businesses at this time of year.

“The aim of our operation is to deter and detect crime and provide reassurance to the public and businesses.

“We will continue to use tactics that have proved successful in previous years to make sure those who commit crime in the town centre are dealt with robustly.”

Andover Police are offering the following advice:

For shoppers, remember to:

  • never leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even if for a couple of seconds
    • make sure your handbag is closed
    • try to keep wallets in an inside pocket and out of sight from a potential pickpocket
    • keep your PIN number confidential
    • try to pay for items on a debit card, rather than carry large amounts of cash, if possible
    • ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked before leaving your car

Businesses should:

  • ensure high value stock is stored in a secure location – preferably in a locked area
    • keep high value or desirable items close to staff when displayed on the shop floor
    • log any suspicious activity
    • be alert when taking deliveries, especially with high value stock
    • when placing additional stock out for Christmas, make sure it doesn’t block the view for your CCTV cameras
    • ensure all private areas are locked, and the public do not have access

For more advice on thefts from a person, visit: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/shoplifting/how-secure-is-your-shop/

More useful tips for businesses can be found here:

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.