NORTH Yorkshire Police took part in a cross county clamp-down on rural crime which resulted in hundreds of vehicles being stopped and a number of arrests.

Around 110 police officers, PCSOs, and special constables from North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire and Northumbria forces worked alongside almost 100 volunteers as part of last Thursday night’s ‘Operation Checkpoint’.

Across North Yorkshire, including Craven, 60 vehicles were stopped and several were searched, resulting in five arrests for suepcted burglary, theft and drug driving, along with two other vehicles seized.

Operation Checkpoint, which took place for the first time in 2014, is the largest operation of its kind in the country. Police from the different forces share intelligence and information and carry out patrols across their boundaries in order to target suspected criminals , disrupting their use of rural road networks and bringing criminals to justice.

Police tactics included the widespread 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.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “As always, Operation Checkpoint sends a clear message to criminals using the road networks to target our rural communities that their illegal activity won’t be tolerated.

“We have excellent working relationships with neighbouring forces, and operations like Checkpoint help us share resources and information to clamp down on criminals, wherever they are from and wherever they are going.

“The support of our volunteers, such as members of Mobile Rural Watch schemes, is also an invaluable part of the operation. With their local knowledge, we were able deploy effectively across hundreds of square miles, directing officers to key points of interest and suspicious activity. Once again, we’re extremely grateful for their efforts.Local people can be reassured that we our proactive work will continue to make life extremely difficult for criminals, and protect our rural communities.”