PUB-GOERS and clubbers in Burnley are being warned to beware of bag thieves operating in the town centre.

There have been a spate of incidents when bags, purses and mobile phones have been stolen from people out for the night.

Sergeant Jon Bullas said: "If you take a handbag with you when you go out, or other items like purses and mobile phones then please don't leave them unattended.

"If you don't want to take them with you to the bar, toilet or dance floor leave them with someone you can trust. Otherwise keep them with you at all times.

"The vast majority of the thefts we have seen over recent weeks could have been prevented if people had taken these simple precautions."

Police are also appealing to shopkeepers in the town centre to be on their guard because they are also being targeted by bag snatchers and sneak thieves.

Sgt Bullas said: "Over the past week a number of bags, purses and wallets have been stolen from staff rooms at shops in and around the town centre.

"We are currently working with shops to make their premises more secure and in some cases, examining CCTV footage in a bid to identify offenders, but in the meantime I would appeal to shop staff to keep their personal possessions out of view and if possible lock 'staff only' doors.

"Thanks to the advent of CCTV and various town centre crime reduction initiatives, Burnley is already a much safer place, but by taking on board simple crime prevention advice, people who live and work in the town can make it even more secure."