Wairarapa police will be back on the beat in town centres in an effort to curb crime - particularly shoplifting.
Sergeant Chris Megaw said shoplifting had increased in Masterton in recent weeks, particularly by young people, and officers would be stepping up their presence on the main street.
"With kids being off school and with a lot more time on their hands, some parents are still working, and kids are wandering around the place."
Mr Megaw said although shoplifting was always an issue, there had been an increase in activity among youth and also incidents at the skatepark.
Community Constable Dean Fawcett said being out on the streets had always been a part of the job, but nationally there was a push to increase the visibility of police.
"It's an aspect of the job that police actually enjoy generally, being out and amongst the public ... we want to talk to the public and get back to our core role."
Mr Fawcett said the extra patrols, which would be for an indefinite period, might help to deter shoplifters.
"We know that increasing our visibility, particularly at this time of year, is a great preventative activity in that it makes people think twice about committing crime and therefore makes the CBD a safer place."
Trev's Sport owner-operator Quentin Henderson said shoplifting - both random young people and organised groups of adult shoplifters - was a big issue, with up to seven incidents a day.
"It's my profit walking out the door, they're stealing from me. If I took $100 out of their back pocket how would they feel?"
Mr Henderson has just installed new cameras and signs to deter shoplifters, but did not think an increased police presence would stop the problem.
"If people are going to choose to steal they're just going to do it.
"If we catch someone the faster response time would be good ... maybe getting the item back unspoiled."
Cotton On assistant manager Tarnz Hema said an increased presence on Queen St would definitely help to curb shoplifting, which is a big problem for the store.
Ms Hema said a recent stocktake showed the store was losing an average of 17 items a day, most of them high-value items such as jeans.
Shoplifting cost the store about $40,000 a year.
Although the store's high-demand clothing had anti-shoplifting devices, the tags only deter "honest thieves" as they leave a small ink stain and do not sound off alarms at the door.
Shoplifters were getting smarter, visiting stores during busy trading periods when they knew staff would be busy with customers, said Ms Hema.
School holidays and after-school during term time are periods when the store is targeted, mostly by young people.
She said some Masterton stores had an informal network for sharing information about shoplifters.
"All retailers should get into the networking, to combat it as a whole rather than individually."