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Commissioner joins covert operation in bid to tackle retail crime in Carlisle

Peter McCall

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall took part in a covert operation undertaken by Carlisle Police and Carlisle Retailers Against Crime (CRAC) who were recently awarded funding through the Commissioner’s Community Fund.

CRAC have been established for some twenty years, and recently applied for £1,500 funding from the Commissioner to pay for an additional piece of software to enhance the radio link system they already use.  This will enable them to gather information on people that are committing retail and business crime within Carlisle, and share with the police and retailers in the city.

Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I was delighted to be asked to take part in this joint covert operation, and see for myself how effective the system is, and how Carlisle Retailers Against Crime, in partnership with Carlisle Police, are helping to reduce retail crime in the city.

“I am a firm believer in the approach of ‘we not they’ and the Community Fund is all about giving funding to local communities to make a difference in their local area, and I believe this scheme is a great example of how effective this can be.”

John Nugent, Carlisle Retailers Against Crime said: “By carrying out these covert operations we can get a better idea what’s happening within the city, by combining this and the use of disc we are getting results and gathering lots of intelligence regarding retail crime.”

“The funding we received is a great assistance to move disc forward to reduce retail crime.”

PC Mike Watson said: “Tackling retail crime is an important priority for us. We work closely with all members of the Carlisle Retailers Against Crime and are grateful for the support the Police & Crime Commissioner has provided.

“The new software to the radio link system will further enhance communication between retailers and the police ensuring information can be passed quickly in order to prevent crime.

“As well as crime prevention, we work tirelessly to identify and prosecute any offenders. Operations such as this week’s covert patrols are conducted regularly to build a greater intelligence picture and catch those who are stealing from local retailers.

“We will continue run both overt and covert operations over the coming months in order to tackle and prevent retail crime.”

Four arrests were made during the operation:

Karen Clark, aged 39, of South Street, Carlisle was charged with two counts of theft from a shop. She will appear before North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on 2nd October.

Tammy Potts, aged 44, of Rickergate, Carlisle, was charged with theft from a shop. She will appear before North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on 2nd October.

Grzegorz Rynkiewicz, aged 48, of Brunton Avenue, Carlisle, was charged with theft from a shop. He will appear before North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on 2nd October.

A 29-year-old man from Carlisle was arrested on suspicion of theft from a shop and has been released under investigation.

For further information about the Commissioner’s Community fund and details of how to apply, please visit http://www.cumbria-pcc.gov.uk/working-for-you/community-fund.aspx or ring 01768 217734.

The closing date for the next round of applications is 30 November 2018.

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