Cross-border policing targets rural crime

Operation Checkpoint was a show of strength against rural crime.
Operation Checkpoint was a show of strength against rural crime.

A major operation targeting rural crime, involving six police forces across the north, resulted in vehicles being stopped and checked, property seized and summons issued.

More than 110 police officers and almost 100 volunteers from the Northumbria, North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, and Lancashire forces joined together overnight last Thursday for Operation Checkpoint, a show of strength against rural crime.

In Northumbria, more than 20 local volunteers joined Neighbourhood Officers, Motor Patrols and Special Constables for the operation which focused on issues such as poaching and theft.

Police tactics included the widespread use of automatic number plate recognition technology to locate vehicles suspected of being connected to crime, as well as targeting those seen in suspicious circumstances.

Officers and volunteers in Northumbria stop-checked 15 vehicles and seven people were issued with summons. A number of items – including tools and lamps – were also seized during the operation.

Superintendent Craig Metcalfe, from Northumbria Police, said: “Operation Checkpoint saw officers out in force across Northumbria and this proactive activity demonstrates that tackling rural crime continues to be high on our agenda.

“By working with our neighbouring forces we are able to strengthen our stance to tackling rural crime and it sends out a clear message to potential offenders that this activity will not be tolerated.

“The response from the public has been positive and it is important that we not only continue to protect people from rural crime but also increase confidence in those communities who feel vulnerable to such offences that action is being taken.”

Operation Checkpoint first ran in January 2014, and remains the largest initiative of its kind in the country. The forces involved share intelligence and information and patrol across boundaries.