POLICE have launched a crackdown on purse thefts and retail crime in Chesterfield over Chrsitmas and New Year.
Officers have stepped up patrols in the town in a bid to tackle shoplifting and pick-pocketing.
In addition, police are visiting car parks and busy parking areas to prevent thefts from vehicles.
The patrols are being carried out as part of Operation Pearl, a seasonal police initiative to tackle festive crime.
Sergeant Nick Booth, who is in charge of Chesterfield Town Centre SNT, said: “Traditionally around this time of year we see an increase in the number of purse and shop thefts as the town becomes busier and people become less vigilant with their belongings.
“Our aim is to continue to provide reassurance to shoppers and businesses and prosecute individuals who steal and cause damage.”
Police have handed out hundreds of purse chains to town centre shoppers over the last few weeks to help prevent thefts.
Police advise shoppers to keep handbags and purses securely fastened and in view at all times, never carry wallets or mobile phones in back pockets and never carry large amounts of money.
For more crime prevention advice, call your local safer neighbourhood team on 101 or visit the website www.derbyshire.police.uk.