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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 11:34 GMT
Crime fighting is in the bag
Karrysafe bag
The range includes wire coil locks for bags
A range of bags and accessories designed to make life difficult for thieves are being tried out by commuters in central London.

A lingerie "stealth belt" designed to keep valuables out of the handbag and out of sight was among the items on display at Victoria Station.

The range, which includes anti-theft record bags for DJs and alarmed laptop cases, has gone on sale at a limited number of shops.

It is the idea of Lorraine Gamman, a researcher at St Martin's College of Art and Design in London who is now project director of the Design Against Crime initiative.

Sir John Stevens
There are also many steps that people travelling into London can take to make themselves and their belongings safer and protect against opportunistic thieves

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens
She hopes to persuade a major manufacturer to mass produce the designs, which have been endorsed by the Metropolitan Police.

"Manufacturers think crime is the responsibility of the police, not them. But I've been talking to commuters this morning and asking if they think that's fair - and they don't," she said.

Police hope a wrist-hugging mobile phone holder which looks like a sweatband will help cut phone thefts, which makes up around 50% of street crime in London.

Stay safe

Other bags have 'hoods' which stretch over making it difficult for thieves and pick-pockets to get thier hands in.

Some also have slash-proof layers and steel coils allowing them to be locked to pub furniture.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens welcomed the initiative.

He added: "There are also many steps that people travelling into London can take to make themselves and their belongings safer and protect against opportunistic thieves."


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See also:

01 Feb 02 | Science/Nature
30 Jan 02 | UK
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