Police will be tackling the rise in shoplifting at Peterlee in the run up to Christmas.
Officers from Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team will be targeting shoplifting and anti-social behaviour around Peterlee town centre.
The operation, coined ‘Honeygate’ will run over the festive period, there will be increased dedicated patrols in and around the Peterlee area.
PC Mark Wearmouth, from Durham Constabulary, said: “Whilst it is great to catch those who commit crime, we would rather people spend Christmas with their loved ones than in one of our custody suites.
“Christmas is one of the busiest shopping periods and it’s also the busiest time for shoplifters. We want to deter potential thieves and help cut crime.
“Along with retailers and Castledene Security, we will be working hard to ensure a safe and crime-free Christmas.
“There are a number of people who are banned from the shopping centre. All stores within Shopwatch – a scheme which sees a network of businesses linked by radio to each other, the Police and CCTV operations – have a photo file of known offenders and if these individuals are spotted in the area then we will act.”
A series of crime prevention events and pop up PACT meetings will take place in and around the town.