Nearly 200 officers, volunteers and individuals from partner agencies teamed up last night in a joint operation to tackle rural crime.
Operation Checkpoint ran from 5pm on Wednesday 8th March to the early hours of Thursday 9th March and is the largest rural policing operation of its kind in the country.
Six Forces including Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Northumbria participated and they co-ordinated intelligence led deployments along with static vehicle checkpoints and visits to vulnerable premises.
The following teams were all involved from different Forces including neighbourhoods, special constabulary, the road traffic unit, the dog section, HMRC, the Volunteer Bailiff Service and the Automatic Number Plate Recognition unit (ANPR).
Intelligence shows that organised crime groups from across the north of England are involved in thefts, burglaries, handling stolen property and targeting rural areas. These criminals use their extensive knowledge of the road networks across the region in an attempt to avoid detection.
The operation saw over 97 vehicles stopped for checks across the Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Northumbria areas resulting in a number of vehicle seizures, fixed penalty notices and arrests. In total there were 11 arrests for the operation due to the directed patrols and intelligence received.
In addition to this 14 farms were visited and signed up to Cleveland Connected, which is a community messaging system to alert people of news ongoing in their areas.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: "We cannot fight rural crime alone, but as people in the rural communities will have witnessed in recent years we are trying hard to tackle this serious issue.
“Operation Checkpoint targets, disrupts and deters vehicles suspected of being linked to criminality using expert knowledge and I fully back this operation and will continue to support it.”
Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Reduction Coordinator Paul Payne added: “I would like to thank all those who took part in last night's Operation and for their continued support in tackling organised criminal gangs, and those who blight the lives of those living in our rural communities
"A special thanks should also go out to the ever increasing 'Rural Watch' membership who support us all year round as our eyes and ears on the ground, and who prove invaluable in our fight against these individuals."
If you are interested in signing up for a rural watch membership, new applicants are always welcome. Contact Cleveland’s Rural Crime Reduction Coordinator on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Thursday 9th March 2017