Extra patrols to combat handbag thefts

By Connie Osborne Monday 05 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 13:34

Latest News

Police jacket

A RISE in purse and handbag thefts mean more police will be on the streets of the town centre in the run up to Christmas.

Between October and December last year, 19 thefts were recorded in the borough, compared to 11 in 2010.

Particular hot-spots included chain stores in the Kingfisher Centre and charity shops on Church Green. Thefts usually occur when victims are distracted, brushed against or bumped into. A particular tactic used by thieves is to start up conversations or stand particularly close to their target.

To combat the problem extra patrols by police and Community Support Officers are being carried out to spot potential offenders and leaflets will also be handed out to raise awareness as well as special cords which shoppers can use to attach their purses to their bags.

PC Adrian Corrigan, from Redditch Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, said thieves often targeted vulnerable people such as the elderly and disabled.

"While we don't want to alarm people as the number of purse thefts in Redditch is relatively low, nationally there is a rise in this time of crime in the run up to Christmas as stores are more crowded, giving thieves more opportunities to strike," he said.

"As well as giving out crime prevention advice and looking out for known offenders or people acting suspiciously, officers will be carrying Shopwatch radios, which will enable them to stay in close contact with store staff and Kingfisher Centre security."

Advice issued to shoppers includes keeping bags zipped up, putting purses inside coat pockets and carrying only small amounts of money.

Anyone with any information about purse thefts is urged to contact West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Popular »

1 A hero remembered as conflict flag is lowered

2 Friends hit the small screen

3 Siblings remembered through heart charity

4 Town centre chuggers face fresh crackdown

5 TV show tells story of Abbeydale murderer

More news »

Campaigners meet health minister

CAMPAIGNERS say they are encouraged by the response

Norovirus update: Visitors urged to stay away from hospitals

VISITORS are being asked to stay away from

Walk a mile in her shoes

MEN FROM across the district are being called

Save the Alex campaign to meet health minister

MEMBERS from the Save the Alex campaign are

Regional news »


Bromsgrove Standard
Alton Towers Halloween spectacular

VISITING your favourite theme park always guarantees a day packed ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.

Stratford Observer
Dad of fallen paratrooper goes to Afghanistan in memory

THE FATHER of fallen paratrooper Conrad Lewis has made an ...

Evesham Observer
Knives in car lead to unpaid work

A FATHER-of-two who hid a kitchen knife under his car ...