Sussex Police are warning to residents to keep a close watch when out shopping and celebrating during the Christmas season.
Officers have issued a range of advice on how to avoid being targeted by opportunistic thieves.
They asks shoppers make sure phones, wallets, purses and similar items go into an inside jacket pocket or into a front pocket of trousers. Police advise not putting valuables into back pockets, especially when the top of the trousers or jeans are visible.
Police also ask shoppers to secure handbags after taking valuables out as many people leave their bag open, making it easy for a purse and other items to be taken. If the handbag has a flap that goes over the top of the bag hold it so that the flap’s fastening is safe.
A police spokesman said: “You could fit your purse with little purse bells, which are designed to be attached to your purse or handbag.
“They’re very useful where there’s a heightened risk of handbag theft, in places such as busy shops and cafés, street markets, other crowded places and on public transport.
If you take some simple steps you can reduce your chance of being targeted. Keep valuables out of sight in a secure place and on your person at all times and you significantly reduce the risk of losing them.”
Other valuables – including phones, laptops or tablets – can be registered on www.immobilise.com to help with identification.
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