According to handbag tracker “The Chelsea Clip”, each time a handbag is stolen, women are said to face an average bill of £109 to replace the bag and its contents.

  • Alcohol crimes through theft a big issue in pubs and clubs in Nottingham
  • Eleanor Cosh, NTU Student Community Liaison: “If someones grabs your bag, let go”
  • Laurent Duval, Former Bar Manager, discusses his experience with theft

Therefore, in an alcoholic environment, its no surprise handbag theft is likely to be substantially higher than in a sober environment.

“It’s a substance that affects behaviour, awareness, and makes you more vulnerable to crime pickings”, said Eleanor Cosh, student community liaison manager at Nottingham Trent University.

“If you’ve got a thief they’ll be opportunist. So if there’s an open bag or a phone on a table they’ll take the opportunity to steal that object. Partially open bag, busy bar, easy for a thief to get their hand in and grab stuff from the bag.”

“If someone actually grabs your bag; let go. Your items can be replaced, and your safety comes first.”

She continued: “Specifically with phones, don’t have them visible as a general rule. If you’re on the way home, some people feel safety in having their phones out, or talking to someone. Obviously you’ll be illuminated, drawing attention to yourself, and showing that you have something valuable on you, in which case it makes you much more vulnerable in that respect.”

Cosh also made a comment about what to do in a situation where someone was committing aggravated theft: “If someone actually grabs your bag; let go. Your items can be replaced, and your safety comes first.”

Audio: Eleanor Cosh on how to be safe on a night-out

It’s not just the customer who is at threat. Laurent Duval, a former Bar Manager at Broadway Cinema and a current Assistant Manager at The Dorset Arms, says items behind the bar can also be stolen.

“We had a tip-jar stolen from the bar. It was quite a big tip-jar, containing somewhere around four hundred quid. It was almost at the time to emptying it and putting it towards the staff party,” said the 31-year-old.


“It took about three months till they got caught. These same people were always stealing in various squad rooms around the city, stealing charity boxes and tip jars. It was a woman and her husband. They had the same type of procedure; go into a bar, have a drink, then steal the tip jar.”

“It’s hard to just straight-up profile someone. With experience you start to learn someone who’s out of place. So at Broadway Cinema, it’s a very middle class type of place, so it’s a bit more obvious is someone is being shifty (sic). However, somewhere like the centre of town in a bar, it’s less likely. It’s hard because the people who stole our tip-jar looked pretty inconspicuous.”

If you’re on a night-out, or at a restaurant or pub, always ensure you keep your personal belongings near you at all-times. If you ever see anything suspicious, contact your local police at 101, or email Eleanor Coht at