Merseyside Police has launched Operation Shepherd, a force-wide campaign to tackle crime during the festive season.

Communities can expect to see more officers on the streets as we step up patrols across Merseyside in an effort to prevent serious and organised crime as well as offences such as burglary, robbery, sexual assault, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour, drink or drug driving and flouting of Covid regulations.

We will use covert tactics and high visibility policing as well as specialist teams from the dog, mounted and air support sections to help keep businesses and residents safe in November and December.

Officers are patrolling retail parks and areas where there are businesses and will be offering advice on how to improve security including the use of DNA marking solutions, tracking devices, CCTV and fogging machines which fill premises with smoke when triggered.

We are continuing to support and keep a watchful eye over the vulnerable members of our communities and will be deploying specialist domestic abuse patrol cars during the period to help those who are suffering behind closed doors.

We will also be working hard to identify offenders and keep people safe after lockdown comes to an end and restrictions ease so they can enjoy the festive season safely.

Merseyside is a fantastic place to live and work, and we will be working hard to keep you all safe so you can enjoy this festive period in safety.

Please help us by looking out for each other and yourselves, and by reporting crimes or suspicious behaviour to us via @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always call 999.

For more information on ways to keep you and your property safe this Christmas see here.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year!