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Rural crime clampdown sees poaching and burglary arrests in North Yorkshire

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Nearly 200 police officers, volunteers and staff from partner agencies teamed up last night in a major operation to tackle rural crime.

Rural crime clampdown sees poaching and burglary arrests in North Yorkshire

Operation Checkpoint ran from 5pm on Wednesday 8 March to the early hours of Thursday 9 March. It is the largest rural policing operation of its kind in the country.

North Yorkshire Police worked alongside five other forces – Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire and Northumbria – by co-ordinating intelligence-led deployments, along with static vehicle checkpoints and visits to vulnerable premises.

Intelligence shows that organised crime groups from across the north of England are involved in thefts, burglaries, handling stolen property and targeting rural areas. These criminals use their extensive knowledge of the road networks across the region in an attempt to avoid detection.

In North Yorkshire, police arrested six people – three on suspicion of poaching, one for breach of a restraining order, and two on suspicion of burglary. A suspected stolen hydraulic breaker and a combi boiler, worth a total of £3,500, were seized.

The three suspected poachers, aged 15, 29 and 41, were arrested near East Harlsey in Hambleton at about 6.30pm. They have been released on bail as enquiries continue. A silver Subaru Legacy was seized – three dogs were also seized, and taken to a secure location.

In total, the operation saw 97 vehicles stopped for checks across the Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Northumbria areas.

North Yorkshire Police officers were joined by 17 local Rural Watch volunteers, who gave up their own time to assist the police operation.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce 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 working very closely with colleagues across the region, we can clamp down on criminals wherever they are from, and wherever they are going.”

Cleveland Police’s Rural Crime Reduction Co-ordinator Paul Payne added: “I would like to thank all those who took part in last night’s operation and for their continued support in tackling organised criminal gangs, and those who blight the lives of those living in our rural communities.”

Last modified: March 9, 2017