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Jingle bells keep Christmas shoppers safe

John Freeman
Shoppers are to be given their own set of Christmas jingle bells to keep their bags and purses safe while out during the festive period.

It is the fifth year that police in Lancaster and Morecambe have distributed the bells, which attach to a shopper’s bag and alert them if someone tries to tamper with it.

“At this time of year, the town centre areas are busy with festive shoppers and therefore there are increased opportunities for the thieves to target people and steal bags and purses," explains Crime Prevention Officer Jan Brown. "The bells raise the alarm if the bag is tampered with and hopefully will also act as a visible deterrent to thieves.”

The bells have been funded through a partnership between The Bay, St Nicholas Arcade, Lancaster, Marketgate Shopping Centre, Lancaster, The Arndale, Morecambe, Festival Market, Morecambe, and Lancashire Constabulary.

The bells will be available through shops in the above shopping centres and charity shops in the North Lancashire area, as well as at Bay radio reception on St Georges Quay, Lancaster.

Crime prevention staff will be in Market Square, Lancaster, for the Christmas lights ‘switch on’ on Thursday 25th November , where they will be distributing the bells to the public.

To protect yourself against purse or bag theft, you should:
  • Never leave your bag open or unattended, such as on the back of a shopping trolley or pushchair
  • Always make sure your bag is securely shut by using the fasteners provided
  • If your bag has a strap, wear it across your body with any flaps facing inwards
  • Never put your bag on the floor to look at something on shop shelves
  • If you do not have a bag, hold your purse or wallet close to your body or carry it in an inside pocket if you have one
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Only keep items in your bag that are needed
  • Keep your cash card separate from your chequebook

• Anyone with information or concerns about crime can contact police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111’.