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Dorset Police asks 'Who's peeking in your purse?'

Members of the public are being advised to take simple steps to reduce their chances of having their purses stolen whilst out shopping in the Christchurch and Highcliffe area.

Christchurch Safer Neighbourhood Team has been working to bring this crime prevention message to residents in Christchurch.

Last year in Christchurch town centre there were 20 reported purse thefts and the targeted age group of victims was between 75 and 95 years of age.

The initiative is aimed at reducing the number of purse thefts in the Christchurch and Highcliffe area by making residents more aware of where their purse is, and making them more alert of the people around them.

Chritax Taxi’s have contributed to the funding of the project, which starts on Wednesday 1 February 2012.

They will also have business cards in their taxis which they will issue to customers. These will have the campaign slogan ‘Who’s peeking at your purse’ together with contact numbers for Dorset Police.

All 1a yellow buses, which go from Bournemouth Square to Somerford Road, will display posters with the slogan ‘Who’s peeking at your purse’, together with the Dorset Police logo, 101 and 999 contact numbers to warn members of the public.

Calling cards will also be issued to the various home carers to hand out to people in the target groups.

As part of this campaign, staff in local shops will remind customers to keep an eye on their purses and belongings.

Christchurch Town Safer Neighbourhood Officer, Dave Williams, said: “We aim to promote the simple crime prevention message of protecting your valuables and not leaving your purse or wallet on open display.

“Special thanks must go to Mr Chris Wilcox from Chritax, a Christchurch taxi company, who have not only provided financial support but also allowed four of their vehicles to be used as a mobile advertisement, displaying our posters.

“Thanks also to the Christchurch Borough Homewatch Association who have provided financial support in the form of donating 500 purse chains. Julia Howlett the Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction Officer (ASBRO) at Christchurch Borough Council has also funded the purchase of a further 500 chains.

“Dorset Police is committed to being victim focused and we will do everything we can to identify offenders who perpetrate this type of crime, preying on the elderly and vulnerable members of our community.

“This campaign will raise awareness and make people aware that no matter what age you are, you can take some simple steps to prevent yourself becoming a victim of this type of crime.”