INCREASED numbers of police officers are patrolling shopping areas across Spain in the run up to Christmas.

The Policia Nacional have ramped up their presence in places that attract a large number of people.

Besides commercial and leisure areas, officers will be at seasonal markets as well as pounding the beat on busy streets in towns and cities.

The aim is to cut crime in shops as well as thefts from people doing their shopping.

Under the auspices of the ‘Safe Commerce Plan’ created in 2013, each province will have a dedicated strategy to cutting crime at a busy time of the year.

The boosted visible police presence is once again expected to act as a deterrent for potential offenders.

Leaflets will be distributed to traders warning them about some of the tricks used by criminals including the passing of fake bank notes.

The ‘Safe Commerce Plan’ operates all year but is reinforced at certain times like Christmas.

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