The Horsham District Community Safety Partnership is reminding people who work in Horsham town centre to beware of thieves while shopping in their lunch hours.
There have been 17 purse thefts reported in the town centre so far this year and shoppers are advised to take action to avoid the heartbreaking and costly loss of personal items.
It is considered by the partnership that the hustle and bustle of the lunch time period makes it a very attractive time for thieves to operate as shoppers are often on a break and can be rushing without paying attention.
It only takes seconds for the item to be stolen, but causes hours of frustration, worry and of course financial loss.
Mobile phones and wallets or purses can be costly to replace and care should be taken when out and about in the town centre.
The partnership is recommending that shoppers follow the tips below from Sussex Police and remain vigilant in order to make potential thefts a much more difficult proposition.
- Only carry around what is needed (cards/cash)
- Never carry large quantities of cash
- Keep valuables close at all times
- If carrying a handbag, keep it secure (zipped up)
- Do not keep P.I.N numbers with cards
- Don’t leave valuables (purse/wallet) on display for people to see
Police Sergeant James Makepeace, from Sussex Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Team in Horsham, said: “We are extremely fortunate to live in such a safe District, however sometimes such feelings of safety can mean that residents and shoppers become complacent when it comes to personal safety, making them easy prey for thieves.
“Work has been done to disrupt those people that were coming to prey on the more vulnerable shoppers in the town centre.
“However, some thefts do still occur so please make sure you keep things fastened away. Also, point out to others if you see something insecure.”
To report someone acting suspiciously, please contact Sussex Police by calling 101.