That idea rings a bell!

IAN CLARKE It's one of the more unusual crime-fighting tools.But old fashioned cat bells are being given out free to people in North Norfolk to help stop the growing problem of thefts from handbags.

IAN CLARKE

It's one of the more unusual crime-fighting tools.

But old fashioned cat bells are being given out free to people in North Norfolk to help stop the growing problem of thefts from handbags.

The bells can be fixed to the zips of handbags, purses and wallets and it is hoped the noise they make will put off thieves and alert owners if they are being grabbed.

The initiative has already been promoted in Yarmouth and Essex and cat bells are being given out free from the public enquiry offices at North Walsham, Cromer, Sheringham and Fakenham.

The initiative comes as police investigate several cases including two thefts of purses while the owners were in a shop in Norwich Road, Fakenham, and they were unaware of them being taken.

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Both incidents happened between 1 and 2pm on Friday August 3.

One of the victims lost a quantity of cash and bank cards.

In the second theft, when the 81-year-old woman victim discovered the theft she immediately contacted her bank only to find that £500 had been taken via her credit card and £750 from the debit card that had been in her purse.

Police urge people to keep purses and wallets well out of sight and to keep shopping bags closed at all times and never keep pin numbers to credit and debit cards in purses or wallets.

Anyone with information about the Fakenham incidents should contact PC Emily Hasthorpe on 0845 4564567.

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