Anti-pickpocket bells offered free to residents

Safer Bromley Partnership is, via High Street charity shops, issuing free bells for purses and wallets in an effort to combat pickpocketing.

The bells act as an audible alert to customers if a purse or wallet is disturbed as well as acting as a deterrent to pickpockets.

The bells are available free at the till points of High Street charity shops in Bromley, Beckenham and Orpington, although customers picking one up are encouraged to make a small donation to charity.

Councillor Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and enforcement at Bromley Council, said: “It’s easy to become distracted when browsing for shopping. That’s why the Safer Bromley Partnership aims to keep customers safe and is issuing free bells for purses and wallets to raise awareness.”

Pickpockets often prey on the elderly and vulnerable in crowded shops but everyone needs to be wary, particularly in shopping centres and high streets where there are many distractions.

To ensure you don’t become a victim of crime the advice is to follow these simple suggestions: keep purses secure and carry them in an inside pocket; zip up hand and shoulder bags; carry bags in front of you with flaps against your body; keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm; don’t display jewellery and don’t show your money — keep it safely in your pocket.