Cheshire Constabulary has launched its annual operation to support delivery drivers and couriers over the festive period.
With Christmas weeks away, and more people ordering online than ever before, officers will be visiting key locations across the county and talking to delivery drivers to offer key crime prevention advice.
This year’s operation will run until 31st December.
As part of the operation, plans have been put in place that will see both marked and unmarked police vehicles patrolling key routes and roads near to distribution centres across the county.
Det Ch Insp Clare Coleman, who is leading the operation, said: “With more people choosing to order their Christmas presents online, there are more delivery vehicles out on our streets than ever before.
“Here in Cheshire we have only seen a very small number of incidents involving thefts from couriers and delivery vehicles, and we are committed to doing all we can to keep it this way.
“As part of this operation we’re also encouraging couriers to play their part by ensuring they take all the necessary steps to reduce their chances of becoming a victim.”
Delivery drivers are being urged to help play their part by following a number of simple steps to reduce the chances of falling foul of thieves.
The steps include ensuring vehicles are in a proper operating condition, looking for suspicious vehicles and agreeing a daily delivery plan with employers or, if independent, with a family member, who can check with them on a regular basis. Drivers should consider using alternative routes rather than always going the same way.
Other tips for drivers are:
• Ensure mobile phones are fully charged;
• If something does not look or feel right, do not make the delivery;
• Carry a torch to illuminate dark areas and walkways;
• If feeling threatened, activate the panic alarm to draw attention to the situation;
• Always lock a vehicle, even if only leaving it for a short period of time; and
• If a vehicle has rear windows, consider darkening them to prevent passers-by from seeing what’s inside.
DCI Coleman added: “As well as police, local residents also have a role to play by reporting any suspicious activity and always ensuing that somebody is at home when any parcels are delivered.
“By working together we can all help to reduce the chances of falling victim to these unscrupulous thieves, and help ensure everyone gets their deliveries this Christmas.”
To report any suspicious activity, call Cheshire Police on 101 or visit cheshire.police.uk. In an emergency always dial 999.