FIVE police forces took part in a joint operation to crack down on rural crime across almost 4,000 square miles of northern England.
Officers from Durham, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cleveland took part in the operation, which is believed to be the biggest of its kind.
The operation involved over 90 police officers and staff and nearly 150 volunteers. For the first time Cleveland provided a large number of officers to contribute towards the operation.
During the operation a large number of vehicles and people were stop checked.
In the Teesdale area a vehicle made off from police and four large empty plastic drums used for the theft of diesel were abandoned. The vehicle was traced to an address in Shildon where a house was searched and enquiries are ongoing to trace the suspects.
Police said this incident alone proved the value of working with local volunteers on this type of operation.
As the target vehicle left the Teesdale area volunteers were able to report its position via the Farm Watch radio system. Most of the other surrounding forces said that their night had been fairly quiet.
Sergeant Simon Rogers from Teesdale Neighbourhood Team said: "These types of joint operations are a valuable tool in tackling both local and cross border crime.
"The operation was again a great success with Cleveland now joining the other four forces involved in these nights of action they will continue to go from strength to strength.
"I would like to pass on my thanks to the many volunteers who turn out for these operations and work alongside us.
"Between us we will continue to tackle rural crime, not only on the specific nights of action but 365 days a year."
Sergeant Stuart Grainger, from Leyburn and Dales, added: "This was another great example of joined up working between forces giving us a rural coverage of nearly 4,000 square miles.
"Added to that is the tremendous support we receive from the Farm Watch groups, for which we are very grateful."
The Wear and Tees award winning Farm Watch scheme has 850 members.
Anyone interested in joining should contact coordinator PCSO Anne Danby at Barnard Castle police office or rural crime officer Kevin Hall, based at Durham police headquarters.
People can also find out more by meeting local officers and PCSOs at regular Police and Communities Together (PACT) meetings.
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