POLICE leading a campaign to tackle “cross-border criminals” targeting rural parts of North Yorkshire have arrested a suspect from a neighbouring country.
In the latest arrest made as part of Operation Hawk, North Yorkshire Police detained a 24-year-old man from Bradford on suspicion of stealing a horsebox from a farm in Selby in the early hours of yesterday.
Officers were alerted at 12.55am after the horsebox was taken, along with a Renault Kangoo van, from the farm in Stillingfleet. Two quad bikes and a welding machine were also stolen.
The van and the horsebox were spotted on the A64 and followed onto the A1, where a man jumped out and ran off into fields.
He was found nearby with the help of West Yorkshire Police officers and arrested on suspicion of burglary. He was last night being questioned in police custody.
Officers from the Operation Hawk team also helped to arrest two men from Manchester suspected of stealing a car after following them north up the A1.
The force says officers are using an “intelligence-led approach”, combining Automatic Number Plate Recognition Technology with information gathered from neighbouring policing areas and residents.
Half of all burglaries and a third of total crimes in North Yorkshire are committed by travelling criminals from outside the county, with residents in rural areas fearing they are particularly vulnerable. Crime commissioner Julia Mulligan last month announced a £250,000 investment to help officers track and trace more of the vehicles driven by criminals crossing over county borders.
Acting Assistant Chief Constable Ken McIntosh said: “Operation Hawk has got off to a good start and we are showing travelling criminals that if they use our road networks to commit offences then there is a very good chance that we will catch them.
“Both of these incidents also highlight how we are working together with neighbouring police forces to keep control of our borders and make it extremely difficult to get out of North Yorkshire without being spotted.
“This is just the beginning and I can assure our rural communities that our efforts will continue and more arrests will be made until travelling criminals get the message that North Yorkshire is not an easy place to commit crime and go undetected.”
To report suspicious behaviour call North Yorkshire Police on 101.