Officers from Doncaster will be out and about in the town centre this month, handing out jingle bells to shoppers in a bid to deter thieves.
This forms part of a dedicated operation to target would-be criminals who may be tempted to strike during the busy Christmas shopping period.
Police from the Safer Neighbourhood Team will be handing out bells to members of the public. The bells can be attached to a bag or purse and will jingle if a thief attempts to steal it.
Lanyards, which can be used to attach purses to bags to prevent thefts, will also be handed out to vulnerable members of the community.
High visibility patrols in the town centre will be taking place throughout December, and local Police Community Support Officers will be on hand to offer crime prevention advice to members of the public.
Temporary Inspector Carl Lindley said: “In previous years around the busy festive period, we have seen a rise in robberies and, in particular, elderly people being targeted for their winter fuel or pension payments.
“Our activity this month seeks to reassure the local community that we are taking robust action to deal with robberies, giving more vulnerable members of society as much assistance as possible so they can stay safe, and hopefully prevent them from becoming victims of crime this Christmas.”
On Tuesday alone, six elderly victims had their purses stolen while shopping in the markets area of Doncaster town centre.
In one case, the victim was carrying a large amount of money. People have been reminded not to carry large amounts of cash in their purses, attach their purses to bags if possible, and also use the free jingle bells so that they are alerted in the case of an attempted theft.