Rochdale’s Safer Communities Partnership is opening a town centre ‘cop shop’ in the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre to bring seasonal safety tips and gifts to shoppers.
Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for strengthening communities urged shoppers to stop by: “Come speak to your local neighbourhood policing team. Find out how to keep your Christmas shopping safe and reduce your chances of being a victim of crime.
“With plenty of practical freebies to give away such as purse bells, personal attack alarms and window locks, it’s the one shop in town providing seasonal goodies to give you peace of mind.”
The shop opened this week and will be open throughout December to the public seven days a week, 9am to 6pm. It will stay open until 8:30pm on Thursdays to support late night shopping evenings.
Police will be using the shop as a base to patrol the town centre on the look-out for thieves and deterring antisocial behaviour.
Rochdale Police Divisional Commander, Annette Anderson, explained: “Burglars and thieves get extra busy at this time of year trying to grab their own Christmas ‘bonuses’. The shop puts us physically nearer to where these types of criminal activities can occur and hopefully through our high visibility presence and advice we can avoid more people becoming victims.
“People drinking too much over the party season also causes all types of problems. We’ll be talking to people about responsible drinking and our ‘none for the road’ campaign. Please come and see us, we always want to hear your concerns and learn how we can keep you safe at this special time of year."
The shop takes inspiration from the TV sci-fi hero The Doctor, who famously used a traditional blue telephone box for his time-travelling adventures. Traditionally these phone boxes were located in public places providing a direct line to police stations.
Sergeant Steve Hanlon, who planned this year’s initiative, added: “Running our ‘cop shop’ is a multi-agency approach involving all organisations that make up the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership.
“Our Blue Box shop celebrates the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and builds on the popularity of the Tardis. I am sure that visitors will be impressed with what we have managed to fit in there, including a policing exhibition, and will find our experience out of this world”.
You can now get the latest safety advice and crime updates by following the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership, @saferrochdale, on Twitter.
Rochdale Council - A council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.