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Police forces team up to tackle cross-border criminals

Police forces team up to tackle cross-border criminals

Published at 8:13pm 18th May 2016. (Updated at 9:20am 19th May 2016)

A major operation involving North Yorkshire Police has targeted criminals in rural areas across the North of England.

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

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

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

Intelligence shows that organised gangs are involved in thefts, burglaries and handling stolen property, targeting rural areas in particular.

This week's operation, which took place between 3pm and 3am, involved officers using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to target suspect vehicles.

Volunteer members of local Watch schemes were involved and acted as the 'eyes and ears' of the police.

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

Officers also dealt with offences of cannabis possession and drink-driving.

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

The ANPR Hub, based in the Force Control Room, monitored and assessed real-time information relating to suspicious vehicles.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Oliver said: "Operation Checkpoint sends a clear message to criminals using road networks to target our rural communities that their illegal activity will not be tolerated.

"By joining forces with our colleagues in neighbouring police areas, we continue to build on our excellent working relationships to clamp down on criminals - wherever they are from and wherever they are going. We are also extremely grateful for the support of our volunteer Watch schemes, who provide invaluable support in the fight against rural crime.

"In North Yorkshire, the operation is testament to our commitment to protecting rural communities, deploying specialist resources such as our Road Crime Team and Rural Taskforce to ensure that the county remains a no-go area for cross-border criminals.

"Checkpoint has now marked its tenth operation, and I look forward to many more such initiatives in the future. We will continue to make life difficult for criminals and work together to protect our rural communities."