This is a message from Derbyshire Alert Information sent on behalf of Derbyshire Constabulary
Message sent by Trisha Mellor (Police, Community Information Officer, Derbyshire)
Protect your purse with free fluorescent chains
Shoppers can get their hands on free, brightly coloured chains to protect their purses from bag dippers.
With Christmas just around the corner, more Derbyshire Dales people will be heading to the shops to pick up presents and often carrying larger amounts of cash with them than usual.
This seasonal trend can also attract thieves, who strike when shoppers are distracted while browsing or queuing up, and take purses from their bags.
To help protect your purse, Derbyshire police and Derbyshire Dales District Council are offering free, fluorescent chains.
One end of the chain is attached to your purse, while the other end is secured in your bag or pocket, meaning that you will be alerted if a thief tries to remove your purse.
Police will also be increasing patrols in towns throughout the Christmas shopping period to help prevent an unwanted seasonal surprise, while posters urging shoppers to take care of their belongings will be put up across the area.
Sgt Nick Reason, who is in charge of Matlock Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Bag dipping and purse thefts are thankfully quite a rare occurrence in our area but it is important that people don’t let their personal safety measures slip.
“Thieves won’t hesitate to strike if they see an opportunity, but you can deny them that by taking advantage of our free purse chain offer.
“Having personal belongings stolen is very distressing and can be even more so around Christmas.
“We want to help people avoid that distress by being mindful of thieves and protecting their property against them.”
Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who is also Chairman of the Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, said: “We are fortunate to live in a low-crime area and excellent partnership initiatives such as this help to keep it that way.”
The purse chains, funded by the Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, are available to collect from your local police enquiry office. Colours include bright orange, yellow and black.
They will also be given out at Derbyshire Dales District Council reception desks at the Town Hall in Matlock, Bakewell Agricultural Business Centre and Ashbourne Leisure Centre.
Alternatively, you can contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 to find out where to get one from.