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Shoppers in Farnborough offered bells to deter thieves

Picture credits: Hampshire Police

Farnborough Neighbourhood Policing Team are offering people free bells to attach to bags and purses, so thieves have second thoughts.

If someone tries to steal a bag, the bell will then jingle and alert the owner.

The team are also giving away lanyards and zip locks to keep bags shut while they are not in use.

Officers will be patrolling the town centre between now and Christmas and will be handing out the freebies to shoppers in and around the town centre.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Mark Woodhead said:

“We have experienced a number of incidents where thieves have targeted shoppers.

"People are easily distracted this time of year and leave themselves vulnerable by leaving handbags unattended.

“We want to ask you to be aware of what’s happening around you when you are out shopping or in the street generally.

"We would like to add that this is a very busy time of year where the towns will get very crowded and this will encourage thieves to come into the area.

“Keep your bag closed and secure and carry it in front of you or across your chest or conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped up jacket.

"Never leave a handbag or any personal possessions in a trolley or hanging off the back of a pushchair or chair if you stop for a coffee, or are browsing the aisles in a supermarket – please don’t be a victim.”

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