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AUDIO: Successful start for rural crime crackdown

AUDIO: Successful start for rural crime crackdown

Published at 1:19pm 11th April 2016. (Updated at 6:28pm 12th April 2016)

Police have made their first arrests as part of a new scheme to tackle crime in North Yorkshire's rural areas.

The Rural Policing Taskforce was set up following research suggesting that offences in the countryside often go unreported.

Its officers will work alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in rural areas and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk.

At the weekend, officers supported other police teams as part of the force's ongoing rural crime crackdown, Operation Hawk.

On Friday 8 April, at around 8.40pm, police were called to a report of suspicious activity at a shop in Bentham.

A short time later, officers attended the Co-operative store in Gargrave and arrested three men at the scene.

Two were later released without charge, but a third, a 17-year-old from Birmingham, has been charged with theft from the Gargrave store and released on bail with conditions not to enter North Yorkshire until he appears in court.

Stolen Fiat recovered following Harrogate burglary

A stolen Fiat recovered following a Harrogate burglary

On Saturday 9 April, at around 8.30pm, a man was reported acting suspiciously in Spofforth near Wetherby.

Less than 10 minutes later, officers stopped and searched the 31-year-old man, and enquiries revealed a warrant had been issued in West Yorkshire for his arrest for breaching a court order.

A short time later, officers located a vehicle in the Selby area, whose driver had no insurance.

The driver was reported for the offence.

Man charged following Gargrave shop theft

Police called to Gargrave after a shop theft

In the early hours of Sunday 10 April, at around 1.20am, a 'two-in-one' burglary was reported on the outskirts of Harrogate, when a house on Poplar Way was entered, car keys were stolen and a Fiat Bravo was driven away.

Half an hour later, a sharp-eyed member of the public contacted police to report suspicious activity nearby.

Officers responded immediately, and at around 3am, a 14-year-old local boy was arrested on suspicion of burglary, theft, possession of cannabis and breach of bail conditions.

The stolen Fiat was recovered and is being forensically examined.

Over the weekend, officers also offered crime prevention advice and conducted security checks at rural farm properties.

Inspector Jon Grainge has been telling Stray FM more about the Rural Policing Taskforce:

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "Our Rural Taskforce, the largest of its kind in the country, will make a real difference to people living in our rural communities. The weekend’s arrests are testament to our commitment to tackling crime wherever it occurs in North Yorkshire.

"Cross-border criminals who prey on our county should be under no illusion - North Yorkshire Police has the specialist resources in place to ensure they are caught swiftly and dealt with robustly."