Carlisle Crime Reduction Partnership are making a stance against traveling organised crime groups (OCGs)

Woman with foil bag sewn in her dress


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Story by Simon Evans 27th August 2020

According to the Carlisle Crime Reduction Partnership the number of organised crime groups (OCGs) who travel to Carlisle to steal large amounts of goods from retail outlets are dramatically increasing.

They have caught three organised crime groups In under a week, who travelled to the city for the purpose of stealing large amounts of goods.

On Wednesday August 19th 2020 the police pulled over two OCGs in a vehicle and searched it, £4600 worth of goods were recoverd.

Then on August 25th a third group were discovered with hundreds of pounds worth of pharmaceutical items, such as paracetamol that were stolen from a B&M store.

These thiefs came from all over the United Kingdom some were wanted for other theft offences in Scotland and Newcastle.

The problems authorities and retailers face are as well as taking a financial hit with stock losses, apprehending shoplifters often comes with aggression.

Carlisle Crime Reduction Partnership said: "It can often be the case that when these shoplifters get caught they become aggressive and we don't want shop workers to put themselves in danger. Our job is to work with the police to raise awareness so retailers and businesses can be prepared and we offer them advice.

"We've seen a real rise in travelling crime groups who come to the city. We're only a small city and we used to experience an organised crime group maybe once a year; we've just caught three in a week.

The crime groups they have encountered have been extremely organised with some travelling an entire day to the city and then returning to their local area to sell the goods.


One of the gang even included a juvenile who had travelled with them and one woman even took the extreme of sewing a tinfoil bag into her dress to try and evade shop security measures.

One actually taken the time to sew a foil lined bag into the layers of her dress

Carlisle Crime Reduction Partnership also said: "She'd actually taken the time to sew a foil lined bag into the layers of her dress so she could put items in easily and so it was hidden from staff and security. What these shoplifters have been known to do is adapt a 'Bag for Life' and put a thick foil lining inside to try and evade door sensors.

"Organised crime gangs mean serious business but unfortunately for them so do we. We’re making a stand and a statement that this city is not an easy target and they will be welcomed by our elite security team with force."

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