THE number of arrests for thefts in Cumbria has fallen by a third in the last five years, new figures show.

Home Office figures show 983 arrests were made for a theft offence by Cumbria Constabulary in the 12 months from March 2022 to March 2023.

This was down from 1,468 in 2017-18, meaning the number of theft arrests has fallen by 33 per cent in the last five years.

However, the number of theft offences logged fell by just 14 per cent, from 9,214 in 2017-18 to 7,954 last year.

Decreasing arrest figures followed the trend across England and Wales, where the number of arrests fell by 37 per cent to 88,914 over the same period.

A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: "Cumbria is a low crime area and a safe place to live, work and visit.

"Theft offences can take many forms – from vehicle theft to shoplifting.

"We take all types of acquisitive crime seriously and know the impact that the theft of personal property can have on people and communities.

"Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. It hits businesses, which contribute to the Cumbrian economy and provide jobs.

"The number of arrests and offences are not comparable as one individual can be responsible for a number of offences within one arrest.

"We would encourage people report all incidents of theft. It is only by receiving reports from the public, that we can identify suspects to hold them to account for their actions.

"The more accurate the information we have for offending in a local area, the more intelligence we have to ensure we resource areas appropriately."

In August, Suella Braverman, who was sacked as home secretary this month, said every theft must be investigated, adding it was 'completely unacceptable' that some crimes have been 'effectively legalised'.

Last month, police, retailers and the Government launched the Retail Crime Action Plan to improve response times to retail-related crime, including theft and shoplifting.

Charge rates for thefts are very low, with just 4.4 per cent of offences with a recorded outcome resulting in a charge or summons nationally in the same period, compared to 9.2 per cent in Cumbria.