[O]fficers from across the region took part in a major operation overnight (Nov 30 – Dec 1) which focused on travelling rural criminals.
Operation Checkpoint, which involved Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumbria and North Yorkshire, was organised to tackle organised crime groups who travel across county boundaries committing crime, predominantly in rural areas.
In Cumbria, more than 100 vehicles were stopped:
- 4 were seized for having no insurance;
- 1 was seized for being used in crime;
- 18 fixed penalties were given for a range of traffic offences;
- 3 drugs swipes were carried out;
- 6 breath tests were carried out (all were negative).
Officers also dealt with an incident where a driver made off in the Eden area, and abandoned their vehicle. A police search found drugs within the vehicle, and enquiries are now on-going.
Those involved in the operation included police patrol officers, PCSOs, Special Constabulary officers, and Farmwatch volunteers.
Acting Inspector Gaynor Taylor said: “Operation Checkpoint is a very successful collaboration between police forces in the north west and north east regions.
“Operations such as this are vital in not only disrupting criminals who travel across county borders, but in gaining intelligence by engaging with the rural communities. Yesterday, engagement with the public was really positive – we gave crime prevention advice in areas that had been targeted by criminals, and gained lots of valuable intelligence from the vehicle stops.
“Targeting rural crime and keeping people safe are priorities for the neighbourhood policing teams in Cumbria, and the successes of this operation are not just down to our officers but also the volunteers who give up their own time to come out on a cold November evening to do their bit for their community.
“If anyone is interested in volunteering for future operations, or would like some information on the many volunteer opportunities with Cumbria Police, please get in touch via our website.”
Commenting on the results of the Operation, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I was keen to join our officers and volunteers on Operation Checkpoint to see first-hand what can be achieved by working with our neighbouring forces, and I’d like to thank all involved for their great work.
“I wholly endorse the need to work across borders when tackling the issue of travelling criminals, who need to know that they will not escape justice in our county. Operations such as this also offer great opportunities to share knowledge, experience and intelligence, for the benefit of all of the forces involved.”
Successes from the other Forces who took part include:
- North Yorkshire – 9 vehicles stopped, 2 seized, including 1 stolen. 4 arrests were made in connection with the stolen vehicle.
- Cleveland – 16 vehicles stopped, 3 fixed penalties given. Valuable intelligence gained regarding cross border crime, due to engagement with the public and stop checks of vehicles.
- Durham – were hampered by the snow, but still stopped 7 vehicles to gain intelligence.