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Residents urged to secure their purse and wallets while out Christmas shopping

Posted on 15th December 2014

Residents are being encouraged to boost their personal security after a would-be thief was caught attempting to steal an elderly woman’s purse.

A Hadfield resident was out shopping away from the town, in Ashton, when a woman pushed past her in the store.

The resident was then stood in the queue when she felt a tugging on her bag, she looked around and noticed the same woman holding her purse and was trying to leave the store.

Thankfully, she had recently had a purse chain fitted by local Safer Neighbourhood officers and alerted security staff in the store.

Security staff then detained the would-be thief until officers from Greater Manchester Police arrived on scene. The woman was later arrested and was believed to have a number of stolen purses on her presence.

Following the incident, Safer Neighbourhood officers will be heading out on the beat throughout the day on Monday, December 22, to fit purse chains and offer advice to help shoppers to stay safe when out and about.

The team will be visiting Bradbury Community House, Glossop Railway Station, the Co-op and also charity shops during the day.

PCSO Tracey Collins from the Hadfield Safer Neighbourhood Team: “As we have seen from this incident, purse chains can really help to stop a criminal from taking your belongings, and can also act as a deterrent.

“The chain works by attaching your purse to the inside of your handbag to keep it secure and alerts you if someone tries to steal it.

“As we are all rushing around for our last bits of Christmas shopping, it may be easy to forget about your security; however thieves are also on the lookout for an early gift.

“It would be great to see as many people as we can on Monday to fit purse chains, however for those of you who can’t make it, purse chains are available from us all year around.”

Crime prevention advice to shoppers includes:

  • Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, if possible with the opening towards your body;
  • Close your purse and put it away before you leave the till;
  • Avoid carrying your purse or wallet in a back trouser pocket;  
  • Keep cash secure and out of sight;  
  • Do not leave your handbag; push chair or shopping trolley unattended;
  • Always make sure that no one is looking over your shoulder before entering your PIN at the cash machine, make sure your money is put away before leaving the machine and ensure your purse is out of reach;
  • Do not write down your PIN and keep it in your wallet, purse or handbag. If you cannot remember your PIN, you can change it at your bank to a number which is easier to remember.

For further crime prevention advice or to speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood team call 101.

For the latest policing news and crime prevention advice for your area follow the teams on Twitter: @HadfieldSNT and @GlossopSNT

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.