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Merseyside Police has launched a Christmas campaign today (Thursday, 19 November) on robbers, burglars and thieves as the shopping season starts to get into full swing.

Police officers launched dawn raids at target addresses across Merseyside where they suspected some of the region’s most prolific or persistent offenders lived.

The aim is to go after both the people suspected of acquisitive crime and any goods thought to have been stolen by them.

The enforcement activity was carried out as a giant video screen was wheeled into one of Liverpool’s shopping streets to display the faces of around ten individuals who detectives want to speak to as they believe they could have information about a number of acquisitive crimes committed across Merseyside.

Senior officers are encouraging shoppers and passers-by to look at the information being displayed and contact the police or Crimestoppers with any relevant information.

Chief Inspector Jenny Sims, from Liverpool North command team, said: “The eye-catching campaign was designed to encourage information from the public.

“Today’s operation is about sending a clear message to the public that Merseyside Police will not tolerate offences like business robbery and thefts in the run-up to Christmas. These are not victimless crimes. Every offence committed leaves a lasting impact on the victim. This could be the small business owner who has stock or takings stolen, or an employee who experiences the intimidation and violence when a robber enters where they work to steal cash from the till.

“The criminals who prey on people in this way do not care whose Christmas they ruin or whose business they damage, only what they can pocket for themselves. We are committed to doing all we can for local residents and businesses, both large and small, to ensure Merseyside is a place where businesses can thrive and provide a service to the public. Ultimately robberies and thefts can put a small shop out of business and the local communities then suffer with job losses.

“We have worked extremely closely with certain sectors such as the gaming industry to tighten up security at their premises and make them as hard a target as possible. The same has been done with small retailers such as off-licences, convenience stores and newsagents. Technology such as fogging devices and forensic sprays can act both as a deterrent and as a way we can track down offenders, as we have done in this morning’s raids. We have also been working closely with retail sector, many of whom have reviewed their processes and many no longer have more than £50 in their till.

“However, by far the most effective way of using reducing acquisitive crime is with the public’s help. This giant screen here in Liverpool will also be featured in Wirral today in areas of high footfall and I hope that people doing their Christmas shopping will take a look at the individuals on show and let us know if they can help us trace them. We believe each one may have information that could help us with our ongoing investigations and someone out there in Liverpool or Wirral today may be able to help us find them.

“And remember £50 for five years in prison isn’t worth it.”

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