The comprehensive Christmas policing plan unveiled by the City of London Police is intricately tied to the holiday retail shopping experience, aiming not only to ensure the safety and security of individuals in the Square Mile but also to safeguard consumers against the heightened risk of online fraud during the festive season.

In-person safety measures

The plan, with a specific focus on preventing violence against women and girls, acknowledges the surge in foot traffic expected during the busiest Christmas period since the global pandemic.

As shoppers flood the Square Mile to enjoy the festive atmosphere and engage in retail therapy, the policing initiatives such as the ‘Ask for Angela’ testing in licensed premises, contribute to creating a safer environment.

This is particularly relevant for those enjoying the nightlife and shopping scene, ensuring that individuals, especially women, have discreet ways to seek assistance if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Safety initiatives for shoppers

The City of London Police’s safety initiatives extend beyond nightlife, encompassing daytime activities such as holiday retail shopping.

The ‘Walk and Talk’ scheme provides an opportunity for women to share their thoughts on safety and express concerns, enhancing the overall sense of security for shoppers navigating busy streets and stores.

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Additionally, the spiking training workshops for licensed premises staff and the provision of test kits contribute to a safer environment for those enjoying a night out or engaging in holiday celebrations, including shopping events.

Protection against online fraud

Recognising the shift towards online shopping during the holiday season, the City of London Police, in its role as the National Lead Force for Fraud, has issued a specific warning against online fraud.

With Black Friday sales and Christmas shopping attracting consumers to search for deals and gifts online, the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes increases.

The police advise consumers to exercise caution and be vigilant about the sources of their purchases, especially when presented with seemingly lucrative offers.

This highlights the direct link between the policing plan and the need to protect consumers engaged in holiday retail shopping from falling prey to online scams and fraudsters.

In-person shopping safety

The plan also addresses the potential increase in opportunities for criminals to target people’s property due to the larger footfall in the city.

The phone snatching operation and a robust approach to preventing theft, particularly from unattended bags and coats during Christmas gatherings, directly contribute to creating a safer environment for in-person shoppers.