Greater Manchester Police have enlisted the help of Fagin and Oldham’s town crier to remind shoppers to keep their valuables safe and secure.
Pick pocketing increases at this time of year because the streets are busier with Christmas shoppers, and officers are reminding people to be cautious and not to give thieves any easy opportunities.
Purse bells, which can be easily attached to handbags and purses, make a sound if thieves attempt to steal belongings, and are especially useful for older and disabled people who are more vulnerable to pickpockets.
Sergeant Cherie Dunn for Oldham Town Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Purse bells can help make Christmas shopping safer for everyone, and it is worth remembering that every time you take your purse out of your bag you should put it back safely and fasten your bag properly.
“I want to reassure shoppers that the chances of becoming a victim of this type of crime are low. Crimes committed by strangers in public places are still rare and account for a very small amount of recorded crime.”
“You can reduce the chance of having your belongings stolen by following a few simple tips. Carry handbags with you at all times and have the strap over your body rather than over the shoulder to ensure it is kept safe. Keep your purse out of sight in an inside buttoned pocket or to use a body belt.”
“Christmas shopping can be a really enjoyable time and we want everyone to have a happy, safe experience.”
To report a crime you can use our new non-emergency number 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.