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Operation Christmas kicks off in Otago Coastal

Press Release – New Zealand Police

As holiday fever starts to ramp up across the country, Otago Coastal area Police are hard at work on Operation Christmas.As holiday fever starts to ramp up across the country, Otago Coastal area Police are hard at work on “Operation Christmas”.

Christmas is a notoriously busy period right across the Otago Coastal area, with a significant increase in the number of incidents police are called to.

Generally, police see more crime and more crashes during the weeks leading up to the Christmas period, often involving alcohol-related offending and harm.

While the holiday season is a happy time for many, it can also be an extremely stressful time for many, with family and financial pressures causing strain.

With this in mind, Otago Coastal police are ramping up their focus on prevention activities over the Christmas period.

Constable Reon Wharerimu says Otago Coastal residents can expect to see the Operation Christmas team out and about at events around the region in the coming weeks.

“A few days ago officers from Operation Christmas were fortunate enough to be able to join a group of Syrian refugees for their weekly coffee meeting,” says Constable Wharerimu.

“This provided a fantastic opportunity to not only give the group some crime prevention tips, but also to build trust and confidence with members of our community who may have had bad experiences with law enforcement in their home country.”

Officers were also on hand at the Regent Theatre with some sweet treats for children attending a magic show put on by the local Lions’ club.

“The kids loved it and, again, this was a real opportunity to interact in a positive way with children who previously may only have seen police when things go wrong in their lives.”

Following Operation Christmas’ participation in the Balclutha Santa Parade on Saturday, officers conducted several road safety operations around the town.

Road safety operations will continue across the Otago Coastal area over the coming weeks.

Otago Coastal communities can also expect to see a highly visible police presence in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with mobile and foot patrols out and about to provide reassurance and deter crimes such as burglary, shoplifting and disorder.

“We are absolutely focused on ensuring that Otago Coastal communities are able to enjoy Christmas in the way it’s meant to be enjoyed, without becoming victims of crime or crashes, and we will be doing everything we can to prevent harm and keep everyone safe,” says Constable Wharerimu.

If you want to get in touch with the Operation Christmas team, please email Constable Nick Harwood on Nicholas.Harwood@police.govt.nz.

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