Fighting Christmas thieves in Hartlepool

Sarah Wilson (right) and Jennifer Yates from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger giving away bells in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
Sarah Wilson (right) and Jennifer Yates from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger giving away bells in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

A CRIME prevention event with a jingling festive feel was held in a shopping centre in a bid to combat thieves.

Staff from the office of the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, took part in the roadshow at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool,.

They gave out little jingle bells to members of the public in a bid to deter sneaky purse thieves.

The bells are attached to bags and purses and ring if a thief strikes.

Mr Coppinger’s staff Jennifer Yates and Sarah Wilson gave away dozens of the noisy bells.

They were also handing out key rings with mini torches attached, and property-marking kits, and also seeking views from members of the public on Mr Coppinger’s plans for policing over the coming year.

Sarah said: “It’s been going down really well, and we’ve given away quite a few of the crime prevention equipment to shoppers.”

The stint in Middleton Grange was one of four roadshow events in central shopping locations across Cleveland.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “At this time of year it is important that people are aware of the dangers of crime and take all the measures possible to prevent them from becoming victims themselves.”

Police constable Steve Cranston from Cleveland Police said: “As shoppers are rushing around trying to grab some bargains, thieves will be trying to grab purses.

“I would urge shoppers to ensure that their belongings are safe and secure, that bags are zipped up and no shopping is left on view, but away in the boot. Crime prevention advice is extremely important at this time of year and I would ask people to visit the roadshow stand.”

As well as the handy seasonal crime prevention advice, shoppers will be able to have their say on local policing, and get a free property marking kit so that stolen and recovered items are more easily traceable.