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Successful rural operation sees police in North Yorkshire targeting travelling criminals

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Six people were arrested in North Yorkshire last night as part of a clampdown on criminals targeting the county's rural areas.

At the same time as the force’s Roads Policing and Road Crime teams were appearing on national TV on the BBC show Traffic Cops, those same teams were out on the roads, fighting crime in rural North Yorkshire.

Operation Checkpoint, which took place overnight, targeted cross-border criminals in rural areas across the north of England.

In North Yorkshire, dozens of Watch volunteers joined police officers and specialist units – including the force’s Roads Policing Group (RPG) and Road Crime Team (RCT) – across the Richmondshire, Hambleton and Ryedale areas.

The overnight operation saw 119 vehicles stopped and checked, and 15 breath tests carried out. Tickets were issued for seat belt, tyre, tax, insurance and MOT offences, with six vehicles seized (three untaxed, two uninsured, one suspected stolen).

A 53-year-old Hartlepool man was arrested at 7.45pm on suspicion of going equipped for theft and possessing criminal property, after RPG and RCT officers acting on intelligence stopped his car near Stokesley. He remains in custody at this time.

Two men from the Richmondshire area were arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine with intent to supply. A quantity of drugs was seized. Both are still in custody.

Two men from Middlesbrough, aged 29 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of going equipped for theft after being stopped and searched by officers at about 1.30am today on Bedale Road, Scotton. Items including a torch, mask, and a glass hammer were seized. Both men are still in custody.

A 19-year-old Eaglescliffe man was arrested just after midnight after officers stopped a Fiat Punto on the B1365 near Stokesley due to its manner of driving. The driver failed a roadside drugs test for cannabis and was arrested on suspicion of drug driving. He has been released on bail pending blood analysis.

A total of 42 volunteer Watch members joined the operation in North Yorkshire, acting as the “eyes and ears” of the police and providing vital information about suspicious vehicles and activity in rural areas.

Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of Leyburn Police, said: “Once again we owe a big thanks to our volunteer Watch teams for the hard work and commitment they show across our rural areas. With their help tonight officers made six arrests and were able to keep the roads safe and protect our rural communities from criminals.”

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We know that some people are willing to travel many miles to come to North Yorkshire, using our road network to commit crime and prey on rural communities. Operation Checkpoint supports our on-going Operation Hawk, sending a very clear message to those criminals – if you come to North Yorkshire to commit crime, we will catch you.”

Last modified: May 24, 2016