Rural crime crackdown sees arrests after more than 100 vehicles stopped

A northern England rural crime crackdown saw a string of arrests after more than 100 vehicles were stopped
A northern England rural crime crackdown saw a string of arrests after more than 100 vehicles were stopped

More than 100 vehicles were stopped and a string of arrests made as part of a major rural crime crackdown in northern England.

The latest Operation Checkpoint initiative has been staged, with officers, farmers and volunteers teaming up to target rural criminals.

The largest rural crime operation of its kind in the UK, the operation sees police forces working together to prevent and tackle rural crime, such as wildlife and poaching offences.

Across Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland and Cumbria, more than 100 vehicles were stopped as part of the dedicated week of action – with police carrying out routine checks on anything that roused suspicion.

The crime-fighting contingent was boosted by more than 20 rural crime volunteers, a team of rural residents who feed directly into on-patrol officers about anything that looks unusual in the areas they know best.

For one driver who was pulled over, officers were able to ascertain he was wanted for failing to appear in court.

He was subsequently arrested, while another driver was found to be under the influence of drugs and was duly detained.

Inspector Garry Neill, of Northumbria Police’s rural policing team, said that Operation Checkpoint 'gets results'.

“We’ve made great strides in recent months through planned operations like this, and with the support of partners and our neighbouring forces, we really are hitting rural criminals hard.

“More than £1 million worth of stolen farming and agricultural equipment has been successfully recovered since our rural policing team was formed in 2020, but there’s still so much more to come in our ongoing fight against rural crime.

“The creation of Northumberland Partnership Against Rural Crime (NPARC) – bringing regional partners’ expertise to the table - will only strengthen our hand further, using thermal imagine and number plate recognition to identify rural criminals and bring them to justice.

“We are excited about the future and I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in Operation Checkpoint, which proved to be an overwhelming success once again.”