Six police force operation to target rural crime

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Six police forces teamed up in a 12 hour joint operation to tackle cross border crime.

Dozens of officers and volunteers were involved in ‘Operation Checkpoint’ which saw vehicles being stopped and checked, visits to vulnerable premises and deployments to hotspot areas based on previously gathered intelligence.

Across the whole area of the operation, which covered Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Northumbria police force areas, 229 vehicles were stopped and 61 vehicle and person searches were carried out.

It resulted in a number of vehicle seizures, fixed penalty notices and arrests being made.

In North Yorkshire alone, three fixed penalty notices were issued for no insurance, no MOT and contravening a double white line, and one untaxed vehicle was seized.

The county is particularly vulnerable to crime as organised groups involved in thefts, burglaries and handling stolen property target rural areas in particular and use knowledge of the road networks across the region in an attempt to avoid detection.

It was the eleventh time the operation has been run and was led by the North Yorkshire force which also deployed its Rural Taskforce and Watch volunteers, local officers, the Dog Section, Neighbourhood Support Teams from Hambleton and Scarborough, Northern Road Crime Team and Roads Policing Group.

Staff from the York-based ANPR Hub were also on-hand to provide information and intelligence about suspicious vehicles.

Sgt Stuart Grainger, of Leyburn and the Dales Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I’d like to pay tribute to our Watch volunteer teams who joined us last night – and regularly turn out throughout the year, week after week, in their own time, to support our local officers and help them patrol our rural area.

“They are a fantastic asset and a pleasure to work with. They help us get great results, and they really do help to keep crime low in their own communities.”

Acting Asst Chief Con Amanda Oliver added: “Operation Checkpoint sends a very clear message to those criminals – if you come to our area to commit crime, we will find you and stop you.

“Wednesday’s operation was the eleventh of its kind, and I am pleased that Checkpoint continues to go from strength to strength.

“In North Yorkshire, the operation is testament to our ongoing commitment to protecting rural communities, deploying specialist resources such as our Road Crime Team and Rural Taskforce to ensure that the county remains a no-go area for cross-border criminals.

“We are also very grateful for the support of our volunteer Watch schemes, who provide invaluable support in the fight against rural crime.”