An operation to deter shoplifters in part of Aberdeen has been hailed a success.
Thieves targeted shops on Greenfern Road, Mastrick, in December 2017 and police wanted to ensure there was no repeat last Christmas.
Crime statistics for December 2018 have not yet been published, but police said there had been a drop in crime in the area as a result of the operation.
Mastrick Sergeant Gareth Hannan said: “The team at Mastrick spent time working with retailers to provide preventative advice and guidance for premises security.
“This was followed by high-visibility patrols in and around the areas of the shops during December, along with licensing checks at pubs across the Mastrick area.
“The area of the shops at Greenfern is a central point for Mastrick and we want the local community to feel comfortable and safe to visit at any time of the day.
“Although the operation has officially concluded, officers will continue to patrol the area regularly and liaise with retailers to seek their feedback on the initiative.
“The local policing team would like to thank retailers for their support during the festive operation and would encourage businesses to make contact with the local team if further problems are encountered.”
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A spokesman for the Spar shop on Grenfern Road said: “There were more patrols from the end of November right up until New Year and we always appreciate the efforts of police coming in and speak with us.
“On the whole, it is a quiet area, though you do get the odd bit of shoplifting like most shopping parades.
“The police have said they will keep popping in to check everything is OK, and advising us and the other shops on security, and that’s definitely something we welcome.”
Another shop owner, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s really good the police have started to take the concerns of shop staff seriously.
“I remember in December 2017 there was a fair bit of shoplifting, and it is something you notice more in the run up to Christmas, because people steal to get money so they can buy things around that time of year.
“It’s brilliant there’s been a clampdown and I think we only had three or four instances of people stealing stuff from our shop. Usually it would be in double figures.”
He added: “Sadly for us though, the police can’t be here 24/7, and you will get some shoplifters who won’t be put off by anything.
“I’ve known of thieves who see getting arrested and jailed as a free week, then they get out and carry on stealing.
“But it is good we have the police to talk to when these kinds of incidents happen. A friendly face is welcome.”