Kingston town centre records 3rd annual drop in festive crime


Operation Giftwrap hailed a success after crime drops 40% from the same period last year.


Crime in Kingston town centre dropped by 40% this Christmas period, after an effective police operation.

Figures released this week show the success of operation Giftwrap, which ensured a high visibility and active presence in the town centre during late night shopping and night time hours.

From December 12 2012 to January 2 2013, there were no reports of Grievous Bodily Harm, 15 reports of Actual Bodily Harm and five instances of common assault.

There was also just one report of robbery, shoplifting was down by a quarter and reports of general thefts were down by 36 per cent.

Inspector Gary Taylor, who has headed the town centre team for three years, said: “We set up a high visibility police presence at all major entry points and used vehicle checks and police dogs where appropriate to check on those entering Kingston at night. Taxi touts were also targeted.

“The Marine Support unit was used for the first time and was really effective in increasing river safety and stop and search along the riverside. Overall we issued over 100 Section 27 town dispersal notices where we saw trouble brewing and made around 40 arrests during the period.

“Most people come to Kingston to enjoy a good evening out and extended shopping experience. Again this year they were able to do so reassured that we were speedily on hand in order to defuse trouble and ensure Kingston maintains its reputation as providing a great place to late night shop and a great night out.”

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