A MAN attempted to steal a purse from a woman with a child walking the Cheese Market in Salisbury.

The incident happened at about 2pm on Tuesday, December 19. The woman was walking with a buggy and child when a man walked past and attempted to take her purse from the buggy.

The man made off after being challenged by the woman's husband.

The man is described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, approximately 30-years-old, thin with a long, scruffy beard and large nose; he was wearing a black hoodie, black trousers and trainers.

PC Mike Parrott said: "This part of the city would have been very busy at this time so a number of people may have seen this happen or saw a man matching his description acting suspiciously."

The police have issued tips to help prevent people from becoming a victim of crime whilst out and about during the Christmas period:

n When out shopping keep your purse and handbag with you, do not leave it in your trolley or unattended

n Keep any cash that you may have on you to a minimum

n Mobile phones and wallets in back pockets are a target - ensure that you keep them secure and out of sight

n Be careful at cash machines and when paying with your card - shield your PIN at all times.