SHOPLIFTERS are travelling to Cork from all over Munster to target shops in the city in the run-up to Christmas.
Sources in the security industry are warning that shoplifting will dramatically increase over the next three weeks as the seasonal shopping splurge continues.
Among the main items being targeted are electrical equipment, clothing and alcohol.
An industry source said: “There is a lot of shoplifting and there are some people coming from Tipperary and Waterford to target shops here. It is getting very busy.”
Last week, a woman was charged after being arrested in connection with shoplifting from six shops in Cork city, with goods worth €3,000 allegedly taken. There were 869 shoplifting incidents in Cork city in the first half of the year — up from 761 last year.
Gardaí have indicated an increase in shoplifting in Cork city since September.
They have launched their Christmas campaign this week, targeting shoplifting and traffic in the city centre between now and early January.
As part of the operation, 24 probationer gardaí have been brought to Cork from the Garda College in Templemore to assist in the Christmas policing operation.
They will remain in Cork until early January.
The probationers have been distributed to each of the four districts in the city division.
As well as assisting in traffic control, they will be on the beat in the city centre, in the suburbs, and satellite towns to help prevent crimes such as shoplifting in the run-up to Christmas.
A spokesman for the Garda National Crime Prevention Unit said: “Loss through customer theft is accepted as a fact of business life for some retailers. But nevertheless, making it difficult for the customer or the professional shoplifter to take goods can greatly reduce this problem.
“The common causes of shoplifting include poorly trained staff, poor management, bad store layout, no security personnel on duty, and inadequate/lack of internal security such CCTV, alarms, mirrors, or security tagging.”