Warning bells for festive shoppers

Asda Bearsden - police launch 'jingle bells' anti-purse dipping campaign. Douglas Academy pupils helping out.John Tomoney,Heather McSwan,Stuart Cairns and Douglas allan'Doris Sophia'Photo Emma Mitchell'16/11/12
Asda Bearsden - police launch 'jingle bells' anti-purse dipping campaign. Douglas Academy pupils helping out.John Tomoney,Heather McSwan,Stuart Cairns and Douglas allan'Doris Sophia'Photo Emma Mitchell'16/11/12

POLICE are out to ‘sleigh’ pickpockets who prey on Christmas shoppers.

Bag dippers will be targetted in a campaign to make sure people’s purses and other possessions are safe when they head for the shops this festive season.

An innovative crime busting initiative will be launched this week where shoppers will be issued with bells they can attach to their bags, which ring if anyone tampers with them.

Operation Jingle Bells is the latest strategy from community police and the Bearsden and Milngavie crime prevention panel, targeting pickpockets over the busy festive season.

Doris Sofio, chair of the Crime Prevention Panel, said: “People go into supermarkets and can have their bags on trollies which are often unattended, leaving them open to someone taking advantage.

“This is an initiative which involves attaching small bells to bag zips and purses so that if they are disturbed in shops or anywhere at all, the owner is alerted immediately.

“Two years ago we did a similar campaign and it was extremely successful.”

The bells, which clip on like keyrings, are free and the scheme is exclusive to the Milngavie and Bearsden area.

BELLS

Constable Stuart Cairns added: “We have 500 bells at the moment, but more will be made available if the initiative turns out to be a popular one.”

The community policing team and the crime prevention panel are holding an information stall in the foyer at Asda, in Bearsden, tomorrow (Friday) from 10am-2pm to give out bells and explain more about the scheme, with the support of pupils from Douglas Academy in Milngavie.

This is just the latest crime prevention campaign from the local panel and community police, with previous schemes including personal alarms, shed alarms to protect garden property, and awareness campaigns in schools.