Boys in blue are coming to town

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Invercargill Police
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
HEAVY PRESENCE: Constables Jacob Garrett, left, and William McKerchar check in with Wild South sales assistant Tiri Dumez.

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Amid the Christmas green and red, there will be plenty of blue in Invercargill to deter criminals during the festive period.

Southland area manager prevention, Inspector Olaf Jensen, said crime traditionally rose during the Christmas period.

Police will have an increased presence in the city as part of Operation Spirit in the days leading up to Christmas.

The operation would focus on crime associated with alcohol, driving, families, youth and organised crime, he said.

Alcohol was a big factor in many of the reported crimes during the festive season.

Everyone liked to have a good time but it was important for members of the public to enjoy themselves safely. In the next two weeks, the alcohol would be flowing, with the Christmas races this weekend followed by "Tradies' Day" and the Kiln Street Party on December 20.

Drunken behaviour would not be tolerated, Mr Jensen said.

The events were run very well but it was important that individuals looked after themselves and their mates, he said.

Domestic violence callouts also rose at this time of year with alcohol again a factor, Mr Jensen said.

Police would visit and speak to repeat victims and offenders of domestic violence.

Theft and dishonesty crimes spiked around Christmas and foot patrols in the inner city would be common practice for police.

"This time of year does correspond to a rise in crime, especially shoplifting," he said. Police were working with shop owners to improve security and a highly visible presence would, hopefully, also deter those after a five-finger discount.

Wild South sales assistant Tiri Dumez said she was pleased to have the boys and girls in blue dropping by.

Shoplifting was an issue in Invercargill and any deterrent to stop thieves was good, she said.

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- The Southland Times

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