Cumbria Constabulary Warn Of Potential Increase In Opportunity Thefts

Cumbria Detectives are issuing a warning to residents of the Cumberland policing area following recent and anticipated increase in burglaries and thefts from vehicles in the lead up to Christmas.

The Cumberland policing area covers Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland.

With Christmas only weeks away opportunist criminals, who target homes and vehicles looking for high value items, are often more active at this time of year.

They often look for easy targets, trying door handles and windows for quick access.

They will also look for empty properties or properties with valuables in plain view.

Across the Cumberland policing area in the last three months there has been 74 people arrested for burglary and eight for going equipped.

While not all these investigations have been completed 17 people have already been charged with burglary offences and a further five for going equipped.

Detective Chief Inspector Patrick McDonnell said: “We would always encourage people to take simple steps themselves to prevent crimes such as burglary or theft.

“We know these offences are not just about the impact from loss of possessions; it is obvious people want to feel safe in their homes and any intrusion of their property can ruin this peace of mind.

“We take this type of offence extremely seriously, and we work hard to bring offenders to justice as well as to disrupt this type of crime.

“A lot of the offenders we investigate unfortunately take advantage of properties and vehicles which unfortunately have not been secured.

“While we actively seek to detect these offences, the target is actually to disrupt and prevent offenders committing these offences in the first place.

“One part of this is to actively disrupt offenders with preparatory offences such as going equipped.

“While these offences carry fewer sentencing powers, they will have often disrupted an offender on their way to carry out an offence.”

On December 6 Cumbria Police charged two women with burglary following an incident in Salterbeck and on November 23 burglar, Paul Carr was sentenced to three years in prison.

There are things we can do to make it harder and to deter those to gain access to our property.

Home Security – What can you do?

  • Locking doors and windows before you go out and ensuring that your house and keys are secure.
  • Removing keys from locks and keeping them out of reach, not on a hall table.
  • Ensuring side gates and sheds are locked with a good quality lock.
  • Keeping cash and valuables locked away safe or well hidden.
  • Considering increasing your security with good quality locks, CCTV and chains.

Vehicle security – What can you do?

  • Do not leave your vehicles unlocked
  • Never leave any items of value in your vehicle on leaving it unoccupied
  • Wherever feasible do not leave any work or business-related equipment in your vehicle, especially when your vehicle is left unoccupied overnight – having such items stolen can have a serious impact on your livelihood
  • Remove items of value from the glove box – this includes vehicle registration documentation
  • You may know that a bag or a box in your vehicle is empty or contains nothing of value, but an offender won’t and it may catch their attention

DCI McDonnell continued: “On behalf of Cumbria police I would actively encourage you to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity you witness.

“The reporting information not only helps inform us of potential criminal behaviour, but it can lead to timely action being taken to prevent or successfully investigate offences and bring offenders to justice.

“If you would like more information on how you can keep your property or possessions safe, please visit our website.”

Anyone with information on suspicious activity is asked to report this online at or call 101.

If you witness a crime in action, please dial 999.