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A blockbuster partnership between the police and a local cinema is showcasing festive crime prevention advice alongside Christmas classics!
Merseyside Police's movie-themed Operation Shepherd campaign has sought to grab the public's attention with clever plays on favourite films like The Grinch, A Nightmare Before Christmas, and Gremlins.
And now, thanks to the support of the Plaza Community Cinema in Crosby, the campaign has reached cinema-goers in a crucial week before Christmas when homes left unlit can risk being burgled, and party goers phones and purses left in back pockets risk being pinched.
The force has been dropping eye catching and cleverly adapted movie posters onto its social media since late November as well as advertising its crime prevention advice on the backs of buses and on digital screens around the county.
The Grinch has morphed into the Pinch to get clubbers and shoppers to guard against pick pockets.
Elf goes from being irresponsible mischief-maker to someone encouraging people to look after their 'Buddies'.
And George Clooney and J-Lo bank robbery classic Out of Sight becomes a message for shoppers to hide any bought presents in the boot and not in view on the back seat.
The Plaza joined forces with the police after agreeing to host a film review show with a crime prevention twist in its ornate main theatre, despite its busy pre-Christmas schedule.
Martin Fol the manager, said: " The Plaza are really proud to support the police’s Operation Shepherd campaign over the festive period. We’ve promoted it on the canopy outside the cinema and provided a cinematic setting for the campaign video. Our audiences will benefit from seeing the police’s crime prevention messages when they come to the Plaza and I’d encourage everyone to look out for them on social media too".
Chief Inspector Rob Budden, who leads Operation Shepherd, said: "It has been an amazing gesture from the Plaza to agree to put our campaign name up in lights. The crimes we are trying to prevent can affect a broad range of people but we know lots of people go to the cinema over Christmas so it was a perfect way of getting our message across.
"Everyone loves a good movie at Christmas and that was our inspiration for working crime prevention advice into iconic film titles.
"Criminals who take advantage of others at this time of year really are the very worst version of The Grinch in my view, and we don't want anyone's home to have any Close Encounters with burglars of any kind.
"We hope this creative approach will get people joining in on social media with their own favourite films and in doing so, pick up a few tips from the Op Shepherd campaign and keep themselves and their property safe over the festive period."
To see our crime prevention twist on Christmas classics follow the hashtag #OpShepherd on social media or visit our Christmas crime prevention page online here Operation Shepherd | Merseyside Police