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West Cumbria shops and businesses protected from prolific offenders in run-up to Christmas

Top, from left – Joseph Langcake, Mark Whitehead, James Thompson. Bottom, from left – Gemma Rice, Rebecca Williams, Kerry McAvoy

[O]fficers in West Cumbria have taken action to stop five prolific shoplifters and a burglar from targeting businesses and homes so far in the run up to Christmas.

Criminal Behaviour Orders have been secured in recent weeks against five offenders who have plagued shops and businesses in the area – with the most recent being secured on Wednesday (15 Nov).

Kerry McAvoy, 34, of Towncroft, Maryport, appeared in court on Wednesday and admitted 13 offences of shoplifting at premises in Workington, Whitehaven and Maryport.

She was jailed for four months and made subject of a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order.

The order prevents McAvoy from:

  • Entering any business premises signed up to Workington Shopwatch scheme
  • Entering an area of Workington town centre between 8am and 8pm
  • Entering any business premises signed up to Whitehaven Shopwatch scheme
  • Entering any business premises signed up to Maryport Shopwatch scheme

The terms of a Criminal Behaviour Order are set by the court and punishment for failing to adhere can include a prison sentence.

In recent weeks Criminal Behaviour Orders have also been secured against four other prolific shoplifting offenders in West Cumbria:

1) Joseph Langcake, 24, of Headlands Close, Workington, was made subject of a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order by Workington Magistrates’ Court on 8 September 2017.

The terms of the order ban Langcake, a serial shoplifter, from entering any premises which are part of the Workington Shop Watch scheme.

He is also barred from entering the One Stop Shop in Seaton.

The order was applied for after Langcake was convicted of four offences and sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence. Three were theft from shop offences

2) Mark Whitehead, 31, of Senhouse Street, Workington, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on 12 October and was jailed for 147 days for assault by beating and shop theft offences.

He was also made subject of a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from entering Workington Shop Watch scheme premises, entering Maryport Shop Watch scheme premises, entering Workington town centre or entering a number of other Workington businesses.

3) Gemma Rice, 26, of Headlands Close, Workington, was made subject of a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order which was put in place after she was convicted of a robbery offence at One Stop Shop in Seaton, three theft by shoplifting offences at One Stop Shop in Seaton and shoplifting at Poundstretcher in Annie Pit Lane, Workington.

The terms prevent Rice from entering any premises which is a member of Workington or Cockermouth Shop Watch, One Stop Shop in Seaton, Home Bargains in Whitehaven or B&M and Matalan in Workington.

4) Rebecca Williams, 27, of no fixed address, appeared at Workington Magistrates’ Court on 18 October and was sentenced to 172 days in prison for 10 shoplifting offences.

She was also made subject of a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order which prevents her from entering any premises which is part of Workington Shopwatch scheme, entering a number of other named shops and business and entering an area of Workington town centre.

A sixth Criminal Behaviour Order was also secured against prolific burglar James Thompson, 37, of Station Inn, Maryport. He was jailed after being convicted of two burglaries committed in the early hours of Monday (25 September, 2017).

One was carried out at Handmade by You in Curzon Street where close to £200 was stolen. The second occurred at West Lakes Embroidery in Senhouse Street.

Thompson admitted both burglaries and was jailed for 21-weeks.

The Criminal Behaviour Order prevents Thompson from entering areas of Maryport that he has previously targeted for the next five years.

Sergeant Lorraine Murphy said: “The Criminal Behaviour Orders we have secured in recent weeks, with support from the Crown Prosecution Service, shows our commitment to doing everything possible to help shopkeepers and business owners fight shoplifting in the run-up to Christmas.

“The lead-up to Christmas is a time we usually see a rise in shoplifting offences but, hanks to these orders, five prolific shoplifters who would potentially be causing serious issues for business in the area have had their criminal activities seriously curtailed.

“The sixth CBO we have been granted highlights another serious issue in the run-up to Christmas – burglars targeting people for their Christmas presents. We know burglars and thieves are on the look-out for easy targets and are likely to target those who leave their Christmas presents out on show or on the back seats of cars.”

David Fletcher, Development Manager for Washington Square, Workington, said: It is really good news that, together with the Police, the courts have issued six Criminal Behaviour Orders in the past couple of months against some of the people who are shoplifting in the town.

“I am sure that this action will assist the shops and make the town a more pleasant place to visit and most of all reduce shoplifting in Workington.

“The bottom line is that, in these days of cut-backs and shops competing against internet shopping, profit margins are reduced. When shoplifting increases, shops are put under more strain to make them work, which is why shops close down.”

Anyone who witnesses any of those pictured breaching the terms of their CBO should contact the police.

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