Police work with businesses in Cumbria to tackle retail crime

Cumbria Police took action to support local businesses during a month-long initiative aimed at reducing offences and targeting retail criminals.

Neighbourhood Policing teams increased patrols and visited shops and businesses in March, offering advice and support in some of the county’s main retail locations.

A total of 18 arrests were made for theft and shoplifting offences during the month on the targeted days of action.

In Kendal, officers charged a man with robbery, theft and attempted theft following an incident at a town centre shop on 5 March. A further three people were charged with shoplifting offences on 20 March after a separate incident at a Kendal business. Four youths were also spoken with and have been referred to the Youth Offending Panel for retail thefts.

In Penrith and Appleby, patrols were stepped up and officers made four arrests in relation to thefts and shoplifting. The team also secured three banning orders around youth ASB in Sainsburys. The local Community Beat Officers also worked with local retailers, restaurants, and shops to issue a business crime questionnaire. Almost 70 premises filled out the survey which will provide the team with useful information about the problems experienced by shops and retailers in the area.

In Barrow, high visibility patrols were carried out throughout the town centre and in retail parks and three people were arrested and charged in relation to shoplifting offences. Officers also carried out bespoke retail Street Safe’s* in the town centre to better understand the nature of thefts and whether they are reported.

In Carlisle, a number of offences were detected, and officers made six arrests in relation to shoplifting and wanted persons. They also conducted 15 stop searches with two positive results.

In Whitehaven, high visibility foot patrols we conducted to reassure the community and engage with businesses in the hotspot areas. The Neighbourhood Policing team also worked with the Local Focus Hub around shoplifting and ASB and held meetings with local schools and businesses to look at partnership approaches to address the issues.

In addition, one man was charged with three counts of theft and dispersal orders were granted for the retail park and town centre for youth ASB and criminality. Whitehaven NPT continue to work with business across the area to reduce crime and disorder and allow people to use the town centres and retail spaces safely.

In Workington and Keswick, officers engaged with local businesses to issue advice and deter any potential offenders. Four Criminal Behaviour Orders were also issued in March, including one that was issued for over 12 years, to address persistent offender and assist in preventing further criminality.

Chief Inspector Lee Skelton said: “There has been a real emphasis on retail crime in recent months and this focussed activity throughout March provided a valuable opportunity for us to work closely with local businesses and partners to address the issue.

“Patrols were stepped up across all key retail areas in the county, increasing our visibility and providing a deterrence for any would-be offenders.

“These additional patrols also allowed officers to visit shops and make enquiries to identify offenders and arrest those found to be committing offences.

“The proactive action we conducted throughout the month led to swift positive outcomes in the majority of reported incidents. Enquiries remain ongoing to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in our efforts to hold those who commit crime to account.

“Retail crime is far from being a victimless crime and we know the profound impact it can have on our highstreets.

“Cumbria Police takes an active approach to pursuing offenders who profit from causing misery to our local communities and retailers.”

*A Street Safe is where we visit an area and go door-to-door to canvas opinions and experiences of communities in order to protect them from crime and anti-social behaviour.

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