POLICE are to give away anti-theft purse bells in a bid to curb the activities of purse snatchers.
The move follows two purse thefts in two weeks at Sainsbury’s store at Plas Coch and PCSO Ceri-Louise Noble has now organised a series of high profile police patrols.
She has also secured £200 of funding from the supermarket to buy more than 700 anti-theft purse bells which work by making a ringing sound which alerts the shopper when their purse is moved or handled.
PCSO Noble said: “I reviewed the CCTV in one aisle for half an hour and saw so many elderly ladies who left their bags open and then turned around to get food from the shelf.
“I want to warn of the dangers of leaving bags unattended and especially leaving them unzipped with purses on show.
“It’s such a busy time over Christmas so these are preventative methods.”
Plain clothes officers will carry out patrols in the area, both to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and also to approach members of the public with crime prevention advice when needed.
PCSO Noble continued: “We did have a small spate where there were more purse thefts than normal and we have immediately put actions in place to deal with it.
“A lot of the advice is common sense when you think about it, such as keeping handbags zipped or closed, ensuring valuables such as purses are stored at the bottom, never leaving your bag unattended even for a few seconds and being alert to anyone around you that you feel might be acting suspiciously.
“We will be carrying out patrols more and more coming into the festive period and this will hopefully deter any thefts from people, and shoplifting.
“We are also using this opportunity to educate shoppers to be more cautious of their surroundings and their belongings.
“The bells are a fantastic tool that you can attach to your purse or your bag and they will alert people if someone disturbs their belongings.”
Sainsbury’s deputy manager Nick Hughes said: “I think the jingle bells initiative is a fantastic idea and Sainsbury’s was only too glad to support Ceri with the sponsorship.
“This time of year is always a market for the opportunists to strike and hopefully with the jingle bells we will be able to reduce the number of bag snatches, not just in Sainsbury’s but in the whole Wrexham area.”