POLICE arrested 21 people and seized nine vehicles and a loaded gun during a seven-day operation to disrupt criminals as they travelled on roads across North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire Police used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to target suspicious individuals and vehicles during Operation Hawk from Monday 7 September to Monday 14.
Officers also searched 22 vehicles and issued 11 people issued fixed penalty notices or reported for them summons.
A vehicle was stopped in the Selby area after being spotted driving erratically. The vehicle and occupants were searched and a loaded firearm and ammunition was found.
Further property searches revealed stolen property and a quantity of drugs. Six people were arrested for firearms, theft and drugs offences.
A man the Acomb area of York was arrested on suspicion of drug dealing and burglary after being stopped in a vehicle in possession of a significant amount of cannabis, cash and stolen property.
The pursuit of a BMW car on the A168 near Thirsk ended with the it being seized and the driver dealt with for dangerous driving and failing to stop.
Three men were arrested for dealing class A drugs in the Scarborough area following a stop and search of a vehicle and its occupants.
Stolen clothing and a significant quantity of drugs were found in a vehicle after it was stopped and searched on the A19 south of Selby. Two occupants were arrested on suspicion of theft and possession with intent to supply drugs.
A vehicle was stopped on the A19 near York and the two occupants arrested for breach of bail conditions that were imposed at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court for damage and assault offences.
Two men were arrested in a vehicle on the A64 between Tadcaster and York when a significant amount of cannabis was found in the vehicle’s boot.
Asst Chf Const Paul Kennedy said: “Operation Hawk is designed to clamp down on travelling criminals by actively targeting them and disrupting their activity. Our policing teams do this every day of the week, but these ‘weeks of action’ allow us to concentrate specialist resources and effort in particular locations.
“ANPR capability is vital to continue to secure North Yorkshire’s status as the safest place in England, and thanks to our £1m investment in ANPR, criminals should take note that they are now more likely than ever before to be caught here.
“North Yorkshire residents can be confident that Operation Hawk will continue to ramp up the pressure on those who come to here intent on preying on our communities. My message to travelling criminals is a simple one: expect to be caught. If we don’t arrest you here, we will not hesitate to track you down and arrest you at home, wherever that may be.”
North Yorkshire Police’s ANPR Hub, based in the force control room, opened earlier this year.
Staff monitor and assess real-time information relating to vehicles identified as being connected to criminality, building up intelligence about their movements.
ANPR works by reading the registration number of a vehicle, and after checking the number against a database of information, will issue an alert if the vehicle is linked to criminality.
It is used by police to prevent and detect crime, as part of ongoing investigations, post-incident investigations, as well as helping in the search for vulnerable missing people, wanted criminals, and to target uninsured and untaxed vehicles.