Seven police forces unite for day of action on rural crime

More than 100 officers and volunteers from seven police forces across the north of England worked together overnight in a bid to tackle rural crime.

The multi-force Operation Checkpoint ran from the afternoon of Thursday 16 May until the early hours of Friday 17 May. It was the 22nd time the cross-border operation had been held and one of the biggest yet.

It involved officers, staff and volunteers from North Yorkshire Police, alongside Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Humberside, Lancashire and Northumbria – all providing reassurance to those in rural communities by combating criminals who operate across force boundaries.

See also: Video – farms turned into fortresses to battle rural crime

Tactics included high visibility, intelligence gathering, the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to locate vehicles suspected of being connected to crime, as well as targeting suspicious activity.

In North Yorkshire, more than 30 officers from neighbourhood policing teams, the rural taskforce and proactive policing units worked in the border areas in the north and west of the county, specifically targeting cross-border offenders. They were boosted by the support of volunteers from six mobile rural watch schemes.

In total, 40 vehicles were stopped and checked, and a number of traffic offence reports and court summons were issued. In addition, two men from outside North Yorkshire were arrested in the Craven area on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs.

High-visibility patrols

Inspector Jon Grainge, from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said police are working closely with other forces to keep rural communities safe.

He said: “As well as our high-visibility patrols, we took the opportunity to speak to people about the importance of crime prevention measures, which are so important in the fight against rural crime.

“Operations like this are really important in bringing communities together and keeping them safe. By working closely in, and with, our rural communities, we can prevent crime before it happens, and bring criminals to justice.”

Cleveland Police’s rural crime prevention officer, Paul Payne, added: “We were out in force using the resources we have to tackle these persons who continue to blight those living in, working in and visiting our beautiful rural settings.”

In Northumbria, 90 vehicles were stopped, resulting in five being seized and two men reported for road traffic offences.

Meanwhile, Surrey Police carried out their own rural crime day of action on Monday (20 May) called #OutInForce, specifically targeting fly-tippers and poachers.

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