In a bid to beat pesky pickpockets, police have been issuing bells and chains so that Irvine residents can protect their valuables on the high street.
Police handed out purse bells and chains at Irvine’s Asda as part of a crackdown on thieves in North Ayrshire.
The items should help to alert shoppers should someone attempt to steal their valuables.
Over 1000 bells and chains were given out in the run-up to Christmas last year and due to the scheme’s popularity, police have purchased additional supplies for distribution locally.
PC Jason Peter, Community Safety Officer for North Ayrshire, said: “We hope the bells and purse chains will alert people if their property is being interfered with and deter would-be thieves from dipping into bags.
“Although these incidents are not a daily occurrence in North Ayrshire we want to raise awareness locally and remind people to look after their possessions when out and about”.
The officer also offered some tips to ensure local people avoid becoming a victim of crime: “When out shopping we would advise that people don’t carry more money than necessary and to be aware of who is around them particularly in a crowded place.
“Ladies should ensure they keep handbags fastened and men should keep wallets in an inside, zipped or buttoned pocket if possible.”
Supplies of the purse bells and purse chains are limited although currently available from police offices in North Ayrshire.
More information on how to stay safe can be found at www.strathclyde.police.uk or by contacting Strathclyde Police on the new national non-emergency number 101.