Carlisle crime group tackles city centre shoplifting

07/01/22. GV of Carlisle city centre. ITV Border
Credit: Credit: ITV Border

A voluntary group says it had a busy weekend dealing with incidents of anti-social behaviour and recovering nearly £400 of stolen products.

In one theft, shoplifters took £327 worth of goods from a popular discount clothing store in Carlisle City Centre. The Carlisle Business Crime Awareness Group was formed by retail managers and security staff a number of years ago to help combat shoplifting and nuisance behaviour.

A spokesperson from the group said: "We have had reports of retail workers and their customers being abused, assaulted and having to deal with individuals related to shoplifting offences on their own.

“We as a group help support those retailers with tools and regular meetings with store managements teams to help better combat all aspects of business crime in the area.

“We also plan to implement covert operations to target known shoplifting or anti-social offenders through the year."

Inspector Mike Taylor oversees the Carlisle Neighbourhood Policing Team.

He said: “In addition to the officers dedicated to the city centre, extra patrols have been deployed in recent weeks to offer reassurance to the public, and pro-actively deal with anti-social behaviour.

“Their presence aims to deter, reassure,  gather evidence and deal with any crimes reported or identified.

He added: “We have a specific operation – Operation Default – which is running to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city centre. Officers are being deployed at key times and locations targeting known and suspected offenders.

“A number of offenders have been identified so far and their cases are currently proceeding through the appropriate course of action. This ranges from being taken home to their parents, to being arrested and taken into custody.

“We have also regularly used dispersal orders to remove groups suspected of being involved in anti-social behaviour – a power we do not take lightly, but will continue to use if it is necessary to do so.”