Kilkenny Gardai, continuing their collaborative work with Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce are re-invigorating their Businesswatch Scheme ahead of the busy weeks in December. From 2nd December a high visibility policing operation entitled Shopsafe will commence in Kilkenny City.  This operation will involve co-ordinated and scheduled high visibility beat patrols in all areas of the city with a significant retail presence at retail locations including High Street, John Street, Market Cross & MacDonagh Junction throughout extended hours of operation.  The objective is that a highly visible beat presence will deter criminal activity and ensure safe shopping for all.

As shops are expected to extend their December trading hours to offer comfort and convenience the Shopsafe Operation will cover these hours ensuring that customers and staff will experience the best of Kilkenny’s fantastic retail offering during the festive season. Superintendent Derek Hughes said “An Garda Síochána will be maintaining a high visibility beat presence in all retail areas of Kilkenny City in the weeks coming up to Christmas to ensure a safe shopping experience for all and to deter opportunistic criminals”

This operation will be run into January and feedback will inform its operational optimisation as Kilkenny Gardai maintain close contact with key retail partners. Speaking on behalf of Kilkenny Chamber, President Colin Ahearn said “Kilkenny Chamber welcome this announcement on behalf of all our retail members, we are working hard to make Kilkenny a safe and attractive destination in the weeks and months ahead and this initiative will assist us all to achieve that goal.”

Marion Acreman is the Kilkenny Chamber business representative on Kilkenny’s Joint Policing Committee and assists with Kilkenny Businesswatch Scheme. Marion said “This has been a very challenging year for retail business and we anticipate a very busy few weeks ahead, retail businesses are hoping for a controlled, safe environment for customers and staff with no stock loss, the Shopsafe Operation will give retailers assurance that theft will not be an attractive option this Christmas. Working together with our local Gardai has always been a very positive experience and we look forward to seeing the result of this targeted programme in place on our shopping streets and shopping centres over the coming months”