Operation Checkpoint tackles rural crime

Six police forces teamed up for an operation to clamp down on crime in the countryside.

Officers from Northumbria, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire and North Yorkshire joined forces to take part in the 14th Operation Checkpoint initiative.

They gathered and shared intelligence about travelling criminals, aiming to disrupt their use of the road network and bring anyone found breaking the law to justice.

The operation specifically targeted organised crime groups from across the north of England involved in thefts, burglaries and handling stolen property.

Criminals in the area use their local knowledge of the road networks across the region in an attempt to avoid detection.

Neighbourhood officers in Northumbria were joined by some 20 volunteers from partner organisations.

Partners included the Forestry Commission, gamekeepers, National Trust, Environment Agency and Angling Trust which took place in May.

The operation saw officers and volunteers looking out for vehicles seen in suspicious circumstances.

Officers in Northumbria stopped 18 vehicles, two men were reported to poaching offences and two drivers were dealt with for vehicle offences.

Superintendent Andy Huddleston of Northumbria Police said: "Protecting our rural communities is a priority.

"We regularly work with local farmers, residents, landowners and neighbouring forces to prevent rural crime and target those suspected of being involved.

"We recognise that local people are our eyes and ears on the ground and we rely on local information to let us know what's going on.

Superintendent Huddleston said information was shared between partner organisations to help tackle the people and issues of most concern.

"We want to thank our volunteers who took the time to come out with us on the operation and lend their valuable support to it, we really appreciate their help.

"I'd urge anyone who sees any suspicious vehicles or people in rural Northumberland to report it to us straight away and we will investigate.

"The message is - if someone looks out of place and up to no good, they probably are - so call it in."


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