Police are warning shops to be vigilant about shoplifters during the busy run up to Christmas.
For the last two years shoplifting crime figures have increased throughout November and December, with the top two weeks in the year for shoplifting occurring during these two months:
In north Cumbria some initial analysis suggests that a large amount of recent shoplifting incidents have also targeted food, as well as the usual easily concealed items.
Superintendent Mark Pannone, from Cumbria Constabulary, said: “My message to shops and businesses this year is simple – don’t let thieves steal your Christmas.
“It may seem obvious but we do see a rise in shoplifting at this time of year, when the pressure to shop is very high.
“Shops and businesses need to ensure that they are using every method that they can to protect their goods, and they have plenty of security measures in place.
“We will be working closely with businesses across the county to ensure this Christmas is as crime-free as possible.
“We take any reports of theft or shoplifting very seriously. We work hard to bring those responsible to justice wherever possible.
“There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that there has been an increase in people stealing food and essentials across the country.
“While I am sympathetic to these problems the fact remains that stealing is against the law.