Pickpockets are operating in Bolton town centre, police have said.

Thieves are said to be targetting customers in Bolton Market during its busiest days.

Neighbourhood police officers say that they have received reports of mobile phones and wallets being pinched.

Police are urging shoppers to be extra vigilant and also take advantage of some crime fighting devices to protect them from thieves.

This week police will be at Bolton Market handing out gadgets designed to alert shoppers to the presence of pickpockets.

These include bells as well as chains to secure purses.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police's Bolton South Neighbourhood Division said: "A number of incidents have occurred in Bolton Market where mobile phones and wallets are being removed from pockets without the owner knowing, this is happening mostly on the market's  busiest days Friday and Saturdays.

"Bolton Town Centre PCSOs will be in Bolton Market on Friday 3rd March and Saturday 4th March handing out goodies that will help, such as cat bells, purse/key chains that fix to your belt or bag.

"Please if you are coming into Bolton and attending the Market keep your phones away in a zipped bag."

Bolton Market is set to be even busier in coming weeks, as supermarkets run low on fresh produce, whereas Bolton Market traders told The Bolton News there was no shortage of tomatoes and other foods.