Police issue advice to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of pickpockets

With Christmas shopping now in full swing police are issuing some sensible tips to consider when out shopping to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of pickpockets.

It’s easy for pick-pockets and shoplifters to conceal themselves amongst the crowds in shopping areas at this busy time of year.

Often working in pairs or groups, pickpockets will use various ways to lift your purse or wallet out of your pocket or bag.

One can purposely bump into you, or sometimes distract you, while another will adeptly help themselves to your money and cards. You may not feel them stealing from you.

In order for shoppers to protect themselves, police offer the following advice:

  • Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, if possible with the opening towards your body.
  • Close your purse and put it away before you leave the till.
  • Try not to overload yourself with bags and coats.
  • Avoid carrying your purse or wallet in a back trouser pocket.
  • Keep cash secure and out of sight.
  • Do not leave your handbag, push chair or shopping trolley unattended for any length of time

Shoppers should also remember not to leave any presents on display in their vehicles and they should if possible keep them locked away securely in the boot of the car and out of sight.

County Policing Commander for Suffolk Constabulary Chief Supt Jen Eves said: “This month is a busy time with lots of people doing their Christmas shopping.  We know it can be hectic and very busy, but, please take care of your belongings to minimise the risk of becoming victim of pickpockets and opportunist thieves. It is so easy to fall prey to when you are preoccupied and distracted with your mind focused on buying gifts for family and friends.”

During December, police are delivering a series of crime prevention messages and guidance via its social media channels to encourage all to have a #SaferChristmas.

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