News Archive

Scots Watch Purses

by msecadm4921

East Kilbride Crime Prevention Panel and the Scottish Business Crime Centre have joined forces with police to curb bag dippers in the town centre of East Kilbride. A number of security companies are also taking part.

The ‘Watch Your Purse!!’ initiative has gained unequivocal support from members of the Safer Areas Good Practice Group who represent towns and cities throughout Scotland as well as from organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, National Federation of Retail Newsagents, the Independent Grocers Federation and Scotmid.

Purse thefts increase significantly in the run up to the festive season. This causes emotional distress and inconvenience to victims, but in many cases can be avoided.

One deterrent for bag dippings was launched last year with the Crime Prevention Panel, with silver bells handed out to shoppers in East Kilbride.

After the unprecedented demand for these last year, more have been sourced and they are available to shoppers in East Kilbride again.

Chief Inspector Neil Kerr, Area Commander for East Kilbride said: ‘As we approach the festive season, the town centre fills with eager shoppers looking to pick up those must have presents. However, at this time of year up and down the country, opportunistic bag dipper type crimes increase. The bells that are available act as an excellent deterrent, as when a purse or wallet is lifted from a bag or jacket, the owner will be alerted by the noise they make. We would ask shoppers to be vigilant when out shopping, be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye on their belongings at all times. Be particularly aware in busy, congested shops, as often this can be an ideal environment for the opportunistic thief.’

Gary Ritchie, Assistant Director of the Scottish Business Crime Centre says: ‘Individual regions up and down the length and breadth of Scotland sometimes carry out their own successful purse theft initiatives, however we feel that in order to have maximum impact we should all be pulling together in a more coordinated fashion to raise awareness and reduce the opportunity for this kind of theft to take place.’

John Doyle, Chair of East Kilbride and District Crime Prevention panel added: ‘So far, we given out over 2,000 bells to safety conscious shoppers in East Kilbride, and we are delighted to be working with the Scottish Business Crime Unit to help cut down on bag dipping in the town centre.’

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