Nightlife hub patrols to step up as Op Season’s Greetings launched in Derry

Police in Derry City & Strabane said the will be working with partners to ‘keep people safe’ in the run up to Christmas as Operation Season’s Greetings was launched in the city.

The PSNI said the operation, which this year will have a particular focus on violence against women and girls, will ensure resources are deployed to ‘deter and detect criminality’ and provide visible reassurance to the public.

This will include increased patrols in the vicinity popular nightlife and night transport areas.Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard said: “This year will see a focus on public safety across a range of priorities including shopping, roads and transport, safety in the home and your safety when out and about and socialising. We’ve teamed up with partners to deliver guidance and ensure everyone has the best experience possible.“We’ll be conducting patrols right across the city and District. Our Safe Transport Team is also working closely with Translink to ensure passenger and staff safety across the public transport network at this busy time of year. Translink will also provide a range of additional late night services to assist people to get safely home.“Of course, we can be much more effective if we work together, so I would like people to think ahead this festive season and how they can help prevent becoming the victim of a crime. I would encourage people to go to our website www.psni.police.uk/christmas where they will find a range of useful crime prevention and safety advice.”Chief Superintendent Goddard said that this year’s operation will have a particular focus on violence against women and girls.

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"Therefore, we will seek to increase our presence in nightlife areas and work with the hospitality industry and other partners to improve safety in public spaces.

Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard; Jim Roddy, City Centre Manager, and Chair of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership Alderman Darren Guy.

“We will also take active steps to support all victims of domestic abuse. In the past we have seen an increase in domestic abuse incidents over the Christmas period and we want all victims to know that we are here for them. If you need the police, please call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”

Chair of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Alderman Darren Guy said: "We are particularly pleased that there will be a focus this year on crime against women and girls and your PCSP will play an active role in supporting this initiative.”

Jim Roddy, City Centre Manager, said: “We recognise that a city centre that feels safe adds to the sense of wellbeing at this festive season.

"The retail and hospitality sectors are experiencing very challenging times, similar to the wider community, and anything that encourages people to visit the city centre is very welcome indeed."Ian Campbell, Translink Director of Service Operations: “We want everyone to enjoy the busy lead-up to Christmas and will be operating additional late-night bus, coach and train services to help people get home safely and in comfort.

Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard; Jim Roddy, City Centre Manager, and Chair of the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership Alderman Darren Guy.

"Our staff will be working hard to keep everyone on the move, often driving in heavy traffic or managing busy stations and platforms, so we would ask everyone to support and respect our teams. We will also be working closely with the PSNI and its Safe Transport Team to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.”

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Glyn Roberts Retail NI Chief Executive said: “This is the most important time of the year for our local retail sector. We urge consumers to stay safe, be vigilant of shop lifters, plan their shopping trips and be kind with hard working retail staff. We also appeal to our members to work with the police to ensure shoppers and staff are safe this festive season.”