Police hand out security devices

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Police hand out security devices

Posted: 14/08/2008 00:19:26

Police in Telford are giving away a new security device to help protect shoppers from purse-snatching thieves.

More than a thousand of the purse snatch chains are now available from a variety of places including Malinsgate and Wellington Police Stations, and shoppers are being urged to take full advantage of the free offer.

The initiative has been launched in a bid to foil “purse dipping” thieves on the lookout for easy pickings. Although the number of thefts is low in Telford, police are anxious to make people more security conscious.

Mrs Anne Walker - Telford’s Neighbourhood Watch Administrator - who has organised delivery of the chains, explained why she felt the need to develop this initiative. She said:

“Although it is not a serious problem, we do get isolated incidents reported and we want to emphasise the need for people to protect their purses and other valuables.

“We have obtained several thousand purse chains which are now available free of charge. People can bring their bags in to Telford’s two main police stations to collect a chain and we will demonstrate how to fit it, which is easily done and only takes a few seconds.

“The chains will also be available at our Neighbourhood Watch surgeries at Newport and Wellington Markets, and also at the Police Surgery at Asda supermarket in Donnington run by the Local Policing Team.

“Purse chains have been given out already at this surgery, many to the elderly in the Donnington community, and due to the demand the remaining Telford Local Policing Teams will have a significant number of these chains to hand out themselves.

“I would therefore encourage shoppers to speak to their Local Police Officers or Community Support Officers when you see them out and about as they should be able to provide a chain and give instruction on how to fit them.

“In addition, attached to each chain is a shopping trolley coin that can be used instead of a pound coin when unlocking a trolley at the supermarket.”

Mrs Walker said the chains have been funded by a partnership including Telford’s Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership, the Donnington Partnership and Wrekin Housing Trust, all of whom have been extremely supportive in helping the police counter crime.

“The beauty of this device is that it is simple to operate, cheap for us to buy and has a proven track record in helping prevent crime,” she said.

“It’s a very simple device, easy to fit and it really works so we want people in Telford to take advantage of this free offer. However, it’s important to stress that for the device to work properly one end of the chain has to be attached to a loop or zipper on the purse and the other to a loop or zipper on the handbag or shopping bag.

“This means that if a thief tries to steal the purse, the shopper will feel a tug because the chain is quite strong and is not going to break.

“Although thankfully thefts such as this remain rare, victims are often the elderly or vulnerable and we believe that these chains are a great security measure which should protect purses and help prevent the distress and misery which results when they are stolen.”

This initiative follows similar exercises that have been run by police in Shropshire where more than 1000 chains were supplied to shoppers calling at the town centre office within a week.

Permalink: http://www.thesite.co.uk/viewnewsstory.asp?newsid=2629

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