Overnight Crackdown on Cross Border Criminality

Cleveland Police and colleagues from other northern forces took part in a multi-force operation yesterday in a bid to tackle travelling criminals operating between counties in the North of England.

1 Cleveland led the 14th Operation Checkpoint, with dozens of their officers joined by colleagues from North Yorkshire, Durham and Northumbria, Lancashire and Cumbria.

They visited farms and remote areas from yesterday evening to 1am today (Friday) with the aim of catching travelling criminals, gathering intelligence and providing reassurance to those living in rural communities.

The forces already share intelligence on people suspected of travelling from county to county committing thefts and burglaries and passing on stolen goods.  

Rural wildlife offences are also an issue for a number of forces and all forces are committed to creating a hostile environment for travelling criminals who often have an extensive knowledge of the road networks and use minor roads in a bid to avoid detection.

In Cleveland 12 vehicles were stopped with 16 stop searches (people and vehicles) taking place.  Six of these (four vehicles and two off road bikes) were seized.

Showing his continuing commitment to reducing rural crime, Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger personally attended the pre-operation briefing.  He said:

“Operation Checkpoint demonstrates our absolute commitment to ensuring people living in our rural communities feel safe and supported.  I would like to thank each and every officer who took part in the operation.

“It was particularly gratifying to see so many special constables taking part in the operation, especially as some have only been with us for a few weeks.  I hope they enjoyed taking part in this, for many their first, operation and that they gained valuable experience from it.”

Supt Jason Dickson added:
“County borders mean nothing to organised criminals who are intent on targeting our more remote communities.  Last night saw a number of vehicles which could be involved in crime being taken out of circulation and our activity sends out a clear message to those tempted to travel to or through Cleveland for criminal purposes – we will not tolerate it and you will be dealt with.

“I would also like to highlight our Rural Watch scheme which we’d encourage members of the public to join via our successful Cleveland Connected initiative.  You just have to visit the force website at www.cleveland.police.uk and click on Get Involved to sign up.”