Police protection for Suffolk shops

Police officers will be visiting more than 500 post office and stores across Suffolk this autumn in a bid to reduce the number of robberies and burglaries committed at small shops.

Safer neighbourhood officers will be delivering information packs to the stores and giving advice on how they can avoid being targeted by criminals and to offer general reassurance.

Chief Insp Kerry Pauling from the community safety team said: 'During the darker winter months, criminals can take the opportunity to prey on stores when they seem more vulnerable. We want to give post office and shop managers information they can use to protect their businesses.

'By following some simple pieces of crime prevention advice, such as locking staff doors and having good lighting outside, owners can keep themselves, their customers and their businesses safe and keep criminals at bay.'

Police will also be carrying out high-visibility patrols as part of the scheme, called Operation Arctic.

Chief Insp Pauling said: 'These businesses are often the heart of the community and through our visits, patrols and other measures we are aiming to protect them, but we are also asking store managers and people who live near these premises to help protect them too. It is likely that a criminal will visit the shop they want to target in the hours, days or weeks leading up to the offence. This could simply be driving past or sitting in vehicles outside. If the community acts as an extra set of eyes and ears, information passed to us could stop these visits before they become a serious incident.'

Anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity should report it to Suffolk police on 01473 613500.