Purse bells have a popular ring

SALES of cats' bells to protect purses from thieves have taken off in Great Yarmouth as women seek to protect their cash during the credit crunch.The clip-on bells, which give a jangling warning of purse snatchers, were first promoted in the town by crime prevention officer PC Pat Bailey in the summer of 2007.

SALES of cats' bells to protect purses from thieves have taken off in Great Yarmouth as women seek to protect their cash during the credit crunch.

The clip-on bells, which give a jangling warning of purse snatchers, were first promoted in the town by crime prevention officer PC Pat Bailey in the summer of 2007.

But town centre manager Jonathan Newman said it was only in the past few months, possibly reflecting the economic downturn, that they had really taken off.

He said: “We were taken a bit by surprise to begin with. Norfolk police originally supplied the Town Centre Partnership (TCP) with 1,000 of the twin bells which we distributed among shops taking part in the scheme - but we have since ordered another 2,000 to meet demand.”


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Mr Newman said it had been agreed at a monthly security meeting of the TCP that shops should display the bells more prominently.

Posters have also been put up alerting customers to the presence of purse thieves in the town and warning that they tend to prey on the older, more vulnerable members of the community.

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The bells, stocked by Palmers store, Bon Marche and East of England Co-op in the Market Place and Marks and Spencer in King Street, are sold at the cost price of 25p.

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