From left to right – Jo Glover, James Burton, Danielle Broadhurst and Patrick Cheung at HSBC in Coventry city centre.

Coventry Business Improvement District (BID) has invested in thousands of items to help shoppers feel safe and secure in the city centre this festive period.

The festive market and big wheel are anticipated to drive more footfall into the heart of the city.

The BID is offering more than 4,500 credit card defenders, 5,000 purse dipping bells, 500 secure shopper packs and 1,000 purse cables free-of-charge to shoppers.

Purse dipping bells attach to the zip of a purse and when a pickpocket attempts to lift the purse the twin bells will make a sound to alert of a potential theft.

While the purse cable allows shoppers to clip their purse to the inside of their handbag, which makes it more difficult to take without shoppers being aware.

Coventry BID has also teamed up with banks and building societies operating in the city centre, including HSBC, Yorkshire Building Society and Nationwide to distribute the card defenders which help to prevent cyber-theft.

The wallet acts as a digital defender and prevent thieves from stealing card information. Card defenders are now available from bank branches across the city centre.

On Wednesday, November 29 Coventry BID will be hosting a crime prevention day in partnership with West Midlands Police to hand out the items and provide shoppers with advice and guidance on staying safe while shopping this Christmas.

The city centre’s Retail BID Street Patrol will be expanding their patrols to further deter and report crime and anti-social behaviour.

The safety and security measures are all being introduced in advance of the night time shopping event at West Orchards Shopping Centre and other shops in the city centre on the evening of Wednesday, November 29.

Coventry BID has been operating in the city centre for 20 years and was voted in by levy paying businesses for its fifth five-year term earlier this year.

Coventry BID manager Joanne Glover said: “Christmas presents an opportune time for thieves across the country to operate with so many people shopping, and as a city we are trying to lead the way in tackling this nationwide problem – as it is important that shoppers feel safe.

“Safety and security are at the top of the list of priorities for our businesses, so we have made this investment to provide free items to shoppers and visitors to the city centre.

“Christmas is always an incredibly busy time for the city centre as people visit our fantastic businesses to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

“The purse dipping bells, card defenders, purse clips and secure shopper packs will help to deter pickpockets and thieves in the city centre this Christmas and help visitors to enjoy everything we have to offer.”

Inspector Simon Finney, West Midlands Police, said: “The introduction of the Christmas market and the big wheel in Broadgate Coventry City Centre has seen a sizable increase in footfall during the day time and evening.

“The St Michaels neighbourhood team are committed to providing a safe and reassuring presence for visitors to the City Centre and are working with Coventry BID to ensure everyone has a positive experience when visiting Coventry.

“We will be promoting and distributing crime prevention advice as part of the event on November 29.

“People should expect to see an enhanced policing presence in Coventry City Centre as we are committed to providing additional resourcing as part of our darker nights and safer streets campaign.”

To find out more about Coventry BID visit