Page last updated at 21:03 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Crime crackdown nets 54 arrests

Police in Belfast shopping centre
There was a high police profile in the city centre

More than 50 people were arrested as part of a crackdown on Christmas retail crime in Belfast city centre, police have said.

During December there were 54 arrests, many of them for shop-lifting and pick-pocketing, according to provisional police figures.

In addition 30 people were reported to the Public Prosecution Service.

Superintendent Mark Purdon said it was an example of robust and proactive high-visibility policing.

"While we have to bear in mind that these figures are provisional, I am nonetheless proud of the hard work and commitment of our officers who have worked tirelessly to make this Christmas period as safe as possible for shoppers and revellers, and as uncomfortable as possible for criminals," he said.

More than 1,100 people received warnings with regard to traffic and minor offences.

Officers paid close to 1,400 visits to retail establishments to issue crime prevention advice and assist with any issues.

In total, almost 3,000 police hours were directed into delivering the Christmas policing plan and almost 80 penalty tickets were issued.

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