The first batch of Operation Cracker visits got underway yesterday – part of a campaign to safeguard older Yorkshire coast residents this Christmas.

Operation Cracker is a festive initiative to help protect vulnerable people in Filey and Eastfield over the winter months.

Officers and volunteers from North Yorkshire Police are working with the Westway Open Arms charity and other organisations, including North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Eastfield Town Council, 95 Alive, NatWest, Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource, the YMCA and Beyond Housing.

The visits were extremely well-received, with older residents offered crime prevention and welfare advice, and younger residents encouraged to keep an eye out for their more vulnerable neighbours.

In addition, as part of Operation Cracker, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue will have a display in Eastfield High Street where they can connect with the wider public, highlighting the importance fire safety.

And on Saturday 1 December and Saturday 15 December, a roadshow event will be held at Morrison’s Eastfield, promoting the operation’s key safety messages.

Inspector Andy Short, of Filey and Eastfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

“The festive season can be a difficult time of year for some people, particularly older residents who may have little or no family support. The change of weather can mean those with limited mobility can suffer even more, which can make them even more vulnerable.

During Operation Cracker we’ll be visiting areas where there is a higher population of older people, and making sure they are equipped with the right support to get them through what, for some, can be a tough time of year.

We’ll be providing advice such as home security and how to keep your valuables safe when you’re out and about, as well as sign-posting partner agencies and local groups that can provide support if they are spending Christmas alone.

My thanks go to our volunteers and partner agencies for their support and enthusiasm for this operation. Their assistance means we can visit a lot more people and help make their Christmas a safe and secure one.”

The Reverend Sam Foster, leader of Westway Open Arms, said:

“It’s such a privilege to work with North Yorkshire Police and other agencies to reach the elderly, vulnerable individuals and families. Christmas is a great opportunity to work together in our community to give hope, support and to remind people that they’re not forgotten about.”

Further Operation Cracker visits will take place in the Eastfield area on 4, 13 and 15 December 2018. All teams will carry ID and will be accompanied by uniformed police officers.

Courtesy of Yorkshire Coast Radio