HAMPSHIRE Police have issued advice to residents after a number of purse thefts in Andover town centre.

PCSO Lee Thubron said on Tuesday that there had been several reports recently, adding: “The most frequent kind of purse theft is ‘handbag dipping’, where offenders remove purses from handbags left unzipped or unattended.”

In response, Hampshire Constabulary have released advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of a handbag theft.

Their advice includes:

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash in your purse at anyone time.
  • Be mindful around cashpoints.
  • Be mindful of distraction, thieves working in pairs in order to divert your attention.
  • If you are a victim of purse crime, bank cards are often used by offenders very quickly, possible before the victim even realises.
  • Make sure you attend your bank provider to cancel stolen cards.
  • Do keep purses and bags closed at all times.
  • Carry your bag in front of you or diagonally across your chest.
  • Do not carry pin numbers inside your purse/wallet
  • Be alert at all times.

Crime maps reveal that in November, there were 12 burglaries, 3 robberies, 3 thefts from person and 13 other thefts in Andover.