Anti-social behaviour is affecting shoppers on one of Carlisle’s main shopping streets, says the city centre security team.

Carlisle Business Crime Awareness, the organisation that combats consumer offences in the main shopping area, said that it’s dealing with a rising number of incidents on English Street.

Anti-social behaviour, street drinking, drug use and homelessness are causing “persistent issues for our retailers and their customers” it says.

A team spokesman said homeless people are using shop doorways and “others are congregating in the area daily, creating a hub for meet-ups and drinking".

“This is causing anti social behaviour incidents regularly and causing distress to the retailer and their customers on this street," he said.

“It also links into a rise in thefts in the area -some individuals have been dealt with by police.

“I walked passed on Monday night and some were congregated around the area and a hostile situation was taking place; this can be really intimidating to shoppers and staff.

“Our aim is to make the city a safer place to help attract visitors and help all our retailers create a stronger trading atmosphere as far too many retailers are closing their doors.”

Sergeant Chris Blain, from Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Through the Local Focus Team we have successfully applied for and been granted criminal behaviour orders which ban prolific shoplifters from our city centre. We have strong links with the team and city council.

“We also utilise community penalty notices and protection notices which give perpetrators clear guidelines on expected behaviour, these are generally used prior to other options depending on the situation. We will also refer vulnerable individuals to assist with housing, addiction and mental health problems.”