Rural Policing Operation Launches Week of Action across the North

More than 100 vehicles were stopped and checked – and more than 40 farms safeguarded against crimes – in a rural policing operation on Sunday evening till the early hours of Monday morning.

At the start of a national week of action targeting rural crime, police forces all over the north of England took part in Operation Checkpoint on Sunday 6th October 2019.

In rural areas across Cleveland, Northumbria and North Yorkshire, around 100 vehicles were stopped and checked to ensure they were in order, and there were more than 40 reassurance visits to farms.

In addition to Cleveland Police, Northumbria Police and North Yorkshire Police, forces in Cumbria, Lancashire, Durham, West Yorkshire and Humberside also took part. In total, more than 100 officers and more than 100 police volunteers deployed across the North of England.

Operation Checkpoint is the biggest operation of its kind in the country. The forces involved share intelligence and information and patrol across force boundaries to target criminals, disrupting their use of the road network in rural areas and bringing anyone found breaking the law to justice.

Police tactics included the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to locate vehicles suspected of being connected to crime, as well as targeting vehicles seen in suspicious circumstances.

Rural Crime Prevention Officer Paul Payne said: “We had a very proactive evening visiting farms and rural businesses and stopping vehicles, with the offer of returning to carry out target hardening surveys of premises to try and make them more secure and prevent any future burglaries.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took part, including volunteers and partner agencies such as the Coast Guard. Many of the people that we engaged with expressed how much the efforts were appreciated. 

“Operation Checkpoint sends a clear message to criminals who target our rural communities that their illegal activity will not be tolerated, and we will tackle them.” 

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “I am pleased with the outcome of Sunday’s operation and would like to thank everyone involved. We are always looking at ways to support our rural communities across Cleveland and people can expect further support during the Wildlife and Rural Crime Week of Action.”

Operation Checkpoint marked the beginning of the Wildlife and Rural Crime Week of Action, which is co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), and runs from 6th to 13th October.