Derbyshire Police's new campaign has just got underway.
Shoppers in towns across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales are encouraged to zip it as part of a purse theft campaign starting this week.
Officers from Derbyshire's Safer Neighbourhood policing teams will be out and about in towns across the area and reminding people to make sure they keep their purses, wallets and valuables safe while shopping.
While on patrol, they will be spotting people who are putting themselves at risk of becoming a victim by having an open bag, or purse or wallet on display.
They will take the time to stop the shopper, offer safety advice and offer prevention items such as purse chains, bells and credit or debit card protection wallets.
Posters will be on display to help raise awareness, and the teams will be calling into stores and encouraging retail staff to encourage people to zip up their purses and bags before they leave the shop.
Derbyshire Dales Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team PCSO Supervisor Karl Millward said: “We have seen an increase in this type of crime in Buxton and Glossop, and all towns in the Derbyshire Dales and the High Peak will be getting busier over the next few months, so it seemed like a good time to be making sure people know how they can protect themselves from having their belongings stolen while out and about.
“It is so easy to become distracted when you’re shopping, so we would urge people to make sure they’re aware of the advice, and I would also encourage people who feel they could do with a bit of guidance to speak to us if they see us on the street.”
Advice for safer shopping includes:
- Stay vigilant and be aware of other people around you at all times.
- Keep purses, wallets and valuables in a secure handbag, inside coat or jacket pocket.
- Carry your bag close to you, with the clasp facing inwards.
- Always make sure handbags are zipped up or fastened securely.
- Never leave handbags or shopping bags unattended, particularly on shopping trolleys, seats, in changing rooms and toilets.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, other valuable items or unnecessary documents containing personal information. Only take with you what you will need.
- Never keep pin numbers with bank cards.
- Fit and use purse chains or bells to make it more difficult and to alert you should someone try to remove a purse or wallet.
- Consider the use of a handbag or purse alarm- they are inexpensive and could alert you to someone trying to steal your possessions.
PCSO Supervisor Millward added: “Please be mindful of safety while out shopping and do your bit to help us keep your trips into town crime free.”