Purse bells

Christmas shop – with bells on

Shoppers in Liverpool city centre are to be reminded to jingle all the way to and from the till this Thursday – by putting bells on their purses and bags.

City Central BID and the Liverpool Crime Alert Team will be handing out more than 2,000 sets of bells – at an event named Operation Jingle Bells – to help ensure people don’t lose out this Christmas by forgetting or misplacing their purses during the final festive shopping rush.

The purse bells, which will be handed out with a 1,000 stretchable chains that connect purses to a bag or coat, have also proven to be a hugely successful tool against pick-pocketing.

Operation Jingle Bells will take place on Church Street near the Christmas Tree from noon to 2pm on Thursday, December 13.

And with less than two weeks to Christmas, Merseyside Police will also be at the event offering shoppers assistance to protect their mobile phones via a registration scheme.

Ian Ward, newly appointed Chairman of City Central BID, which co-funds numerous safety initiatives in the city centre such as the Retail Radio Alert Scheme and the St Johns Cop Shop, said: ”Liverpool city centre is at its peak now and the sheer volume of people all rushing from one place to another creates the perfect conditions for people to misplace or lose their bank cards and money.

We want to help people avoid any heartache in the final run up to Christmas and these purse bells and chains will ensure they can shop with peace of mind.”

Tony Jopson, Business Crime Reduction Manager, said: “These bells are a brilliantly simple way for people to ensure they don’t lose their purses at the busiest and most crucial time of the year.

“The new stretchable chains are also great at deterring pick pocketers and if people don’t get a chance to pick one up we urge them to be that little bit extra vigilant over the next two weeks to ensure the thieves don’t have a happy Christmas.”

Thursday, December 13 is also the third of four ‘Super Thursdays’ in Liverpool city centre with a host of free festive events, paid for by City Central BID, including live Cairngorm reindeers in Queen Square, Titan The Robot in Clayton Square, The Muppets Christmas Carol on the BBC Big Screen and live music at the Liverpool Bandstand in Williamson Square. There will be the added attraction of late night shopping and the Christmas Market which is also open until 8pm.

Liverpool City Centre Neighbourhood Inspector Greg Lambert said: “We see up to 150,000 people visit our city at this time of year and we are urging those visitors to come and stop by the mobile police station, that will be based in different venues around the city, during the Christmas period and get your electrical items registered.

“We want as many people as possible to get their phones registered on the database this Christmas. It’s simple and free to do and it means that if a mobile phone is found, or if we stop someone with a mobile that we believe does not belong to them, we can quickly check on the database. We’re also encourage people to bring their other items, such as tablets, sat navs and other electronic items – not a lot of people realise that these can be registered as well, but if you bring them along we can get them on the database. Registering only takes a few minutes and officers can do it on-site.”