Congratulations! You have bought your new handbag and you can't wait to show it off to the world! Half the fun of shopping is the reaction when you show off what you've bought to your friends, and there's nothing that matches the excitement of wearing a new pair of shoes or going out with a new handbag for the first time.
Whether you'll be strutting the streets of New York or tripping over the paving of Stratford-upon-Avon, it always feels good to parade your latest purchase.
As with most things however, there are always people out there who would like to spoil this experience for their own gain.
So what can you do to keep you and your handbag safe? We have compiled a list of easy guidelines to make sure your handbag stays out of the hands of thieves.
1. Always hide your bag when in the car.
It sounds surprising, but according to national crime statistics handbag theft from cars outstripped street "snatch" crimes by 5:1 in 2007, which goes to show what an easy target an unattended bag can be.
Whenever you are in the car, always put your handbag well out of site. Even if you are still in the car or driving, keep your handbag hidden to avoid it becoming an easy target for the opportunist thief.
It almost goes without saying but it happens time and time again, never leave your handbag on display when you have left your car. Even a fancy locking system and loud car alarm won't stop a thief from snatching your bag, so always keep your handbag out of sight.
2. Hold your handbag away from the traffic
Wherever possible always make it hard for the opportunist thief. Many handbag thefts occur when passing motorists snatch them from the arms of pedestrians, so eliminate this prospect altogether by simply wearing your handbag on the other shoulder, a simple yet effective safety tip!
3. Be watchful in bars, clubs and restaurants.
Whatever happened to the sight of women dancing around their handbags?! Maybe someone noticed how easy it was to steal the handbag in question, or maybe someone else noticed how stupid it looked. Either way, from a safety point of view it's probably for the best.
Once again this tip comes straight from the school of common sense safety, but whenever you're out on the town always keep your handbag in sight. The combination of booze and an unattended handbag may prove too much for even the most part time of thieves, so don't give them the chance and keep hold of your bag.
Also be wary of anyone who offers to check your handbag or belongings into a cloakroom as this is an all too easy scam to fall for. If you want your belongings checked in, check them into a secure area yourself..
4. Be careful with across body bags.
They may seem like the perfect solution, but bags with straps over the body could cause you more harm than good. The eagle eyed thief is more likely to have noticed the bag rather than the strap, meaning that it doesn't provide the preventative you would hope. It also means that should anyone attempt to steal it they'll get more than they bargained for when you're dragged along with it, which could lead to you being injured.
We're obviously not saying don't wear handbags across the body, but do be aware that they don't provide the immunity from being snatched that you would hope.
5. If in doubt, just let it go.
As hard as it is to accept, if you are going to be in any danger when it comes to keeping hold of your bag, just let it go. Despite a new handbag being something you fall in love with, it's not worth risking your safety to keep it.
With the high price of a quality handbag coupled with the value of items that are now kept in handbags (phones, purses, credit cards etc) it is likely that whoever is going to make off with your handbag is probably more desperate to take it than you are to keep it.
If you are worried about items in your handbag being taken, just don't take them out with you. If you are just popping to the shops you probably don't need half the contents of your handbag, and you probably don't need to take your most expensive bag either. And if you are worried that your handbag and valuables are worth quite a lot of money and want some reassurance, there are always insurance policies you can look at.
Most importantly, if you could come to harm sticking up for your handbag, just let it go. There'll be other bags.