Purse safety for Christmas shoppers
Dated: 23 Nov 2009
Police in Newcastle are helping festive shoppers beat off thieves by giving out safety chains to attach their purses to their bags.
It's part of their ongoing Operation Cracker campaign to keep the city centre a safe and secure place to visit.
The safety chains are yet another tool city centre police are using to protect shoppers and make it difficult for thieves to dip into people's bags and steal their purses.
The chains are being handed out to members of the public, in particular elderly women, as part of a city centre operation to thwart thieves targeting Christmas shoppers and city centre shops.
Also in support of the operation, police are carrying extra uniformed patrols as well as ensuring plain clothed officers are out in force in the city centre.
City Centre Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Sweeney said: "In this current economic climate, people are desperate for any extra cash for the festive period and there are a few people out there who will take drastic measures.
"Callous opportunist thieves sometimes operate in the city centre and if they see a purse lying on top of an insecure handbag they will take it.
"The idea of the chain is to make it extremely difficult for thieves to snatch the purse, ensuring the safety of city centre shoppers, and are being given out to elderly women and those people who we see have left their purse within easy reach of thieves.
"Giving the chains out also gives us the chance to get across some essential crime prevention advice about ensuring they are extra vigilant with their belongings while out and about Christmas shopping.
"The operation is about reassuring shoppers that we've got extra resources in the city centre to help keep them safe and to deter thieves. Anyone who is caught stealing with be arrested and have appropriate action taken against them."
Police advise to:
Always zip or button bags shut when walking around and carry under your arm
Only take out your purse or wallet when making payments or for any other necessary need
Not carry any more cash than required and where possible make card transactions
Be aware of others around you and don't give any opportunity for them to snatch you belongings