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    • A festive operation aimed at tackling crime and disorder in Sunderland city centre has been hailed a success after crime rates plummeted by 16%.
      Business leaders on Wearside joined Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness in praising the impact of Operation Kraken after the initiative led to a significant drop in recorded crime.
      Spearheaded by Sergeant Maria Ord and the city centre neighbourhood team, the annual festive crackdown was again run in partnership with the Bridges and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), along with Sunderland City Council.
      From November 25 through until Christmas Eve, the initiative saw uniformed and plain-clothed officers target all city centre criminality, specifically adult anti-social behaviour and retail-related offences.
      Now, after the 2019 Kraken operation showed a 16% decrease in city centre crime compared to the previous year, Sgt Ord hopes to build on those successes in the coming months.
      "We are delighted with how Operation Kraken went," Sgt Ord said. "The initiative was about maintaining a hassle-free and safe environment which allowed families to enjoy everything this city has to offer during the lead-up to Christmas.
      Looking for the latest news in your postcode? We have launched a brand new website InYourArea.co.uk allowing you to stay up to date with what's happening near you. It also has an app.
      Search the latest news, property listings, jobs, planning applications, public notices and more. To get breaking news sent to your phone, download the ChronicleLive app here.

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