Police have launched a new scheme in Exmouth to curb handbag and purse theft.

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A crackdown on the theft of purses from handbags was carried out last week in Exmouth when police highlighted the crime to retailers and shoppers.

Police Community Support Officer Karen Capey and East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership community safety officer Gerry Moore went to the British Heart Foundation charity shop, in the Magnolia Centre, and the Rainbow bag store, in Exmouth Indoor Market, offering crime prevention lanyard clips. The lanyard clips attach the purse to the bag, making theft harder for opportunist thieves.

Gerry Moore said: “East Devon is a safe place to live, work and visit but occasionally opportunist thieves are at work and we hope to make life difficult for them as well as trying to catch them.

“By making these lanyards available in this way we will ensure that members of the public can easily obtain one and at the same time speak with the police about any concerns they have.”

The pair also urged shoppers to keep bags closed, hide valuables, close purses before leaving the till and do not leave bags unattended.

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