A SPATE of burglaries in a South Lakeland market town has led to concerns about policing in the area.

Three businesses in Kirkby Lonsdale were targeted by thieves overnight between April 4 and 5.

While stocks at the premises in Market Square were largely untouched, police reported some damage had been caused and a relatively small amount of cash stolen.

Bill Hitchen, who owns Touch N So, one of the properties affected, said: “The main problem is if there is a break-in at Kirkby Lonsdale, it takes police at least 25 minutes to get here.

“There used to be three police officers in Kirkby Lonsdale and you didn’t get break-ins then, that tells you something.”

Mr Hitchen also gave a description of the damage caused to his property by the intruders.

“They used a brick to break the glass in the side entrance,” he said.

“They’ve got the till and then gone upstairs and taken the till up there.

“If they had started taking stock that could’ve been bad news but they’ve just caused a lot of damage which I will repair and make more secure.”

The intruders also broke into Love Beauty, on the floor above Touch N So, and clothing shop Abrahams.

Cllr Allan Muirhead, a member of Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council, said the incident had raised concerns about policing in the town.

“The town council is concerned about crime and policing here,” he said.

“We’ve asked the police for details of crimes over the past year or so to establish whether or not there has been an increase in crime.

“We’ve also asked for detection rates.”

Cllr Muirhead added the council hoped to have that information at its next meeting, on Wednesday, April 18.

A spokesperson for Cumbria Police responded to the concerns, telling The Westmorland Gazette in a statement: “Police patrols regularly cover this area, and we work closely with shops and businesses in order to tackle crime and keep people safe.

“Officers are strategically allocated to areas based on demand which includes careful consideration of potential criminal activity in the area.

“All reported incidents are thoroughly investigated and we would encourage the public to report any incidents to us on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”