Thursday, 19 May 2016 06:25

Police launch largest rural operation

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Police launch largest rural operation

A MAJOR operation involving six police forces saw a clampdown on criminals across the rural north of England.

Dozens of officers from North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire and Northumbria, took part in Operation Checkpoint.

The largest rural policing operation of its kind in the country, the initiative took place on Tuesday, 17 May.

It aims to gather intelligence about travelling criminals, disrupt their use of the road network and bring law breakers to justice.

The latest operation was the tenth of its kind since January 2014.

Intelligence shows that organised crime groups from across the north of England are involved in thefts, burglaries, and handling stolen property, targeting rural areas in particular.

These criminals use their knowledge of the region's road networks to avoid detection.

North Yorkshire Police's acting assistant chief constable Amanda Oliver said the operation was targeting criminals "wherever they are from and wherever they are going".

She added: "Operation Checkpoint sends a clear message to criminals using road networks to target our rural communities that their illegal activity will not be tolerated."

"We are also extremely grateful for the support of our volunteer Watch schemes, who provide invaluable support in the fight against rural crime

Police used automatic number plate recognition technology to target vehicles suspected of being linked to criminality, as well as checking vehicles in suspicious circumstances.

Volunteer members of local Watch schemes provided valuable assistance, acting as the "eyes and ears" of the police operation.

In North Yorkshire, more than 30 officers took part in the operation, including the force's Roads Policing Group, Road Crime Team, Firearms Support Unit and Rural Taskforce.

Across the region, more than 10 vehicles were seized, for offences such as no insurance, failing to stop for police and no tax.

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