Millions lost
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gangs turn
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travelling criminals from outside the county.

In March it emerged that sheep rustlers had stolen hundreds of thousands of pounds of livestock after targeting Yorkshire’s remote rural communities as they look to cash in on the rising price of lamb. Police in the county have made dozens of arrests since launching Operation Hawk last year in a bid to tackle “cross-border criminals”.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds is also being spent on automatic number plate recognition technology to spot criminals travelling in and out from other parts of the country.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan, said: “Rural crime has been a key priority of mine for some time, as it has for the Chief Constable. As chairman of the National Rural Crime Network I can now ensure this issue is pushed up the agenda nationally as it has been locally. Working with others means we can do more to prevent rural crime, as well as better support victims once the worst has happened.”

Meanwhile, a new report published by World Animal Protection on the extent of wildlife crime in the UK has drawn up recommendations for how the Government could better support enforcement agencies.

The organisation has called for tougher penalties as it claimed penalties and risks for wildlife crime are low, yet the potential rewards are high.

The report has been endorsed by celebrities including actor Stephen Fry, entrepreneur Deborah Meaden and television presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek.

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