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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Maryport trader to close shop as vandalism and theft rates soar

A Maryport trader plans to close his town centre shop and move away because of vandalism.

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CRIME VICTIM: Eric Skillen, of Inkstop, in Maryport

Eric Skillen says he will shut the Inkstop, on Crosby Street, after his shop window was smashed. He said it was the final straw after a number of incidents.

The news comes in the same week that town councillors expressed concern about the soaring crime rate in Maryport’s Netherhall ward.

Mr Skillen said he would probably move his shop, which fills ink cartridges, mends PCs and transfers video to DVDs, to Carlisle.

He said: “I’m done. I am sick of the crime in West Cumbria.

“It’s hard enough to make a living but when you have to pay £500 for a window it’s not worth it.

“They are just mindless idiots. There should be more punishment for the crimes.”

When his business used to be on Curzon Street his window was smashed. He moved for a time to Clay Flatts Industrial Estate in Workington but thieves made off with £900-worth of stock there.

Meanwhile, Inspector Gary Hunter told town councillors on Monday that there had been 94 offences in the Netherhall ward in August and September, compared with 38 for the same period last year.

The ward stretches from the south entrance to Maryport, through the town centre and along the Promenade.

There were 27 incidents of criminal damage, compared with 14 last year. There was also a rise in damage to vehicles from four to 17.

Shoplifting was up from two to seven. There were 12 cases of assault with injury, compared with six last year, and eight assaults without injury but only five last year.

There was also one sexual offence this year, compared with none last year, and a rise in drug possessions to six this year from none last year.

Residents have said they are concerned by the sudden rise in crime.

Ronald Peat, 66, of Crosby Street, had his Jaguar car scratched three weeks ago causing £600-worth of damage.

He said: “There have been several cars damaged and houses broken into on my road.

“You have to keep your doors locked at all times now. There should be more police on the streets.”

A 76-year-old neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “I would like to see more police patrolling the streets on foot.”

In August more than £6,500-worth of damage was caused to cars in the Netherhall ward.

Police received more than 20 reports of damage to vehicles in North Street, Camp Street, Fleming Street, Fleming Terrace and Solway Terrace.

Insp Hunter said the town’s police community support officer would visit businesses and hand out leaflets.

Police are also investigating a burglary at Maryport Boys’ and Girls’ Club on Ennerdale Road at the weekend.

Around £1,000-worth of damage was caused and a laptop stolen.

Volunteer Bryan Thompson, 71, said that the club, which is run by volunteers, wasn’t covered by contents insurance because they couldn’t afford the excess.

He said they would have to pay for repairs using the money made through fund-raising.

He said: “It’s sickening for people who work so hard to give other folk opportunities.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

Have your say

As a Maryport Lad through and through I feel for Eric, and the likes, He, like other Shopkeepers, was probably etching a living with His Shop, I worked with Eric approx 32/3 years ago and He worked hard then and it is quite sad when you read the crime stats, especially when I read of the latest sad occurrence @ Maryport Boys club, the likes of "Bomber" Thompson, who has devoted, since I was a Lad, most of His life's sparetime @ the Boys Club, He must ask Himself why?? many times.
I have worked in Dubai - Abu Dhabi - Doha of late and the crime rate is virtually nil, the U.K can learn a lot from here, an eye for an eye springs to mind however the do-gooders and the politically correct brigade will lambast Me for saying that,.
On a final humorous note, and I hope Eric will appreciate this, @ least the homeless Maryport Santa may have a home !!, Eric - Bomber, good luck and keep believing.

Posted by Kevin Winn on 1 November 2013 at 14:58

Maybe he should check crime figures in Carlisle, they are higher than west cumbria. There is definately an increase in some areas, in particluar maryport.

Posted by John on 1 November 2013 at 14:08

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