POLICE chiefs believe a high visibility security operation over Christmas helped keep dissident republican bombers at bay in Belfast.
The Belfast Policing District has just released its figure for its Christmas keeping Belfast safe 0peration.
According to Chief Supt Nigel Grimshaw: officers:
* made 65 arrests in Belfast City Centre;
* conducted 3,769 vehicle check points;
* stopped 36,917 motorists;
* made 222 detections for road traffic offences;
* seized £35,000 of Class A drugs;
* made 25 arrests for drink driving offences;
* detected 45 peopled for excess speed;
* 92 motorists were detected for careless/inattention whilst driving.”
The high visibility operations, which were launched on 16th November 2014, saw an increased police presence throughout the city as officers endeavoured to keep people safe, deter and detect criminals and minimise any potential terrorist threat.
Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw says: “Over the festive period, large volumes of people were frequenting the city to shop, to socialise and to visit a range of different attractions.
“In preparation for this increase in footfall, we worked closely with businesses, retailers and licensees to reinforce crime prevention messages linked to a variety of issues, from personal safety to retail crime, to road safety.
“The high visibility policing operations focused on policing plan priorities – such as reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, reducing the number of burglaries and dealing with the issues of domestic abuse, antisocial behaviour and drugs.
“Planned vehicle checkpoints also assisted in minimising opportunities for any terrorist incident.
“This road focused operation also resulted in 25 arrests for drink driving offences, 45 detections for excess speed and 92 motorists being detected for careless/inattention whilst driving.”
Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw added: “Of the 65 arrests in the city centre between 1st December 2014 and January 2nd 2015, 17 were in relation to theft, 8 were in relation to disorderly behaviour, 25 were in relation to begging and three were linked to drug related offences.
“We also carried out 3,769 vehicle check points, stopped 36,917 motorists and made 222 detections for road traffic offences.
“During this operation tactical support group officers stopped and subsequently searched a vehicle which resulted in the seizure of Class A drugs with a street value of £35,000.
“This visibility undoubtedly assisted in maintaining the safety of the city and preventing any terrorist related incident from occurring.
“We will continue to do everything we can to protect you and your property in 2015 but everyone also has a responsibility to keep themselves and each other safe and to work with police so that together, we can make a difference.”