Police operation launched to reduce crime and make sure communities are safe this Christmas

Domestic Abuse Shatters Lives

Merseyside Police has launched Operation Shepherd, its annual campaign to reduce crime and keep communities safe during the festive period.

You can expect to see more officers out and about from now, through to Christmas and into New Year. This will include uniformed and plain clothes officers, supported by specialist teams including the Dog Section, Mounted Section and Air Support.

A wide variety of teams will be working together to prevent crime and identify those that do commit offences, using every tactic we have available to track the offenders down and put them before the courts.

Whilst on patrol, officers will be speaking to residents and business owners to offer crime prevention advice and tips on how they can keep themselves, their property and premises safe.

We will also continue to support and protect the vulnerable members of our communities, including the use of specialist domestic abuse patrol cars to help those who are suffering behind closed doors.

Superintendent Steve Brizell, who is leading the operation, said: “We always step up patrols on the run up to Christmas because historically, we have seen a rise in crimes such as burglary, robbery, domestic violence, and drink or drug driving. It’s also normal to see an increased police presence in busy locations including shopping centres, Christmas markets and other popular attractions because, as recent events have shown, the threat from terrorism has not gone away.

“We will continue our Project Servator deployments, which use uniformed and plain clothes officers who are specially trained to identify individuals who may have criminal intent. These deployments can pop up anywhere at any time, and if you see one, it’s nothing to worry about. Officers will be happy to explain what they are doing and answer any questions you have, so feel free to talk to them and find out how you can help keep people safe.”

You’ll see extra officers policing the vibrant night-time economies of the city and busy town centres throughout Merseyside. Following a challenging festive period last year due to lockdown restrictions, we know many people are keen to make the most of restaurants, bars and clubs this year. We’re linked in with CCTV operators and we’re working closely with door staff, licensees and bar staff to help make sure you feel safe whilst enjoying a night out.

Superintendent Brizell added: “Operation Shepherd is an extensive force-wide operation involving a wide variety of teams, each with their own area of expertise, and they all play a part. This year, we’d like to show you the work of some of those teams.

“Keep an eye on social media in December as we take you behind the beat with a series of videos that give you a fascinating glimpse into what makes Operation Shepherd happen.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Christmas is such a special time and Merseyside Police is committed to ensuring everyone across our region can enjoy the festive period safely.

“I welcome the launch of this wide-ranging operation aimed at ensuring those heartless individuals who would seek to carry out crimes such as burglary, robbery, fraud and violence are not able to shatter the celebrations.

“I hope the crime prevention advice, extra patrols and the high visibility activity planned over the next month will reassure people living, working and visiting our region and help everyone to stay safe this Christmas and New Year.

“Throughout the campaign, Merseyside Police will also be giving an insight ‘behind the beat’, explaining why these operations are carried out and showing the people who are delivering them. I hope this will give our communities extra confidence when they see officers out and about across Merseyside.”

Look out for each other this Christmas and report crimes or suspicious behaviour to us via @MerPolCC, 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always call 999.