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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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33 Cumbrian shops hardest hit by thieves, reveal police

Just 33 shops across Cumbria are the victims in a third of the county’s shoplifting crimes, say police chiefs.

Jerry Graham photo
Jerry Graham

Senior officers add they want to work with the stores to protect their goods after revealing how a just a small number of businesses are linked to a huge percentage of thefts.

Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Graham revealed the statistics as he spoke about how this crime was one of the main priorities for the force.

There was a recent rise in offences and officers have been carrying out a campaign to stress the threat to businesses.

Speaking at a top-level crimefighting meeting, Mr Graham said shoplifting was “a north west phenomenon”, with food among the goods targeted.

“I think the answer in terms of shoplifting is prevention,” he said. “We need to stop it in the first place. We are working with businesses to see what more they can do to protect their own goods.”

Police usually record more than 70 shoplifting crimes across the county per week during December, according to recent figures.

Mr Graham added: “Thirty three stores account for 33 per cent of shoplifting across the county.

“There are probably opportunities there for us to work with them.”

The meeting was told that after a rise in reported crime following the summer – some of it after burglars took advantage of open windows to raid homes – there had since been a drop.

Cumbria has had repeated reductions in crime in recent years and Mr Graham said: “During the autumn period recorded crime levels have receded back to the normal.”

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