A seasonal campaign against thieving is being rolled out by Devon and Cornwall Police.

The operation, named 'Safer Christmas', is aimed at ensuring individuals don't become victims of crime this festive season.

Joe Champness, the crime prevention lead for the force, said: "This is one of the busiest times of year for shoppers and retailers and there are simple prevention measures people can take to make it harder for thieves.

"We are urging retailers to think carefully about where they place their most valuable stock; to keep it away from doors and window displays and to place it where staff can best keep an eye on it.

"We are urging shoppers to be vigilant to people who may want to steal their wallets and other valuables from their bags, so keep them closed at all times, especially in crowds."

The police force is also advising parked vehicle owners not to leave purchased gifts on display.

Mr Champness said: "We are reminding drivers that when parking their vehicle to choose a well-lit spot, ensure their vehicle is locked and never leave any valuables or gifts on display."

Officers will step up patrols in the run-up to Christmas, attending late-night shopping events and festive markets where possible.

The force is collaborating with community safety partners to pinpoint shoplifters and theft hotspots.

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.dc.police.uk/safer-christmas.

Mr Champness added: "Anyone who is caught shoplifting, breaking into vehicles, or handling stolen goods can expect to be dealt with by local officers.

"They may face a lifetime ban, prosecution, as well as get themselves a criminal record."

"By working together, we can help reduce the cost and blight of theft on our communities.

"We want to send a clear message that Devon and Cornwall is open for business, but closed for crime."