Cross-border operation run targeting rural crime

A cross-border operation targeting rural crime was held in Cumbria on Thursday 29 February.

Operation Checkpoint saw officers from across Cumbria participate during a week of action organised by Northumbria Police involving colleagues from across the North East region and Scotland.

The operation allows officers to work collaboratively to gain intelligence around rural crime, deterring offending and also helps to keep the county’s roads safe.

During the operation officers in Cumbria stopped 41 vehicles, searched six vehicles and ten people.

Two traffic offence reports were submitted with five vehicles uplifted – two for no tax, one Section 165 and two seized following their involvement in crime.

Officer also made three arrests. One man was arrested for theft of motor vehicle and drugs offences near Carlisle, and two men were arrested near to Penrith on suspicion of theft of trailer, driving offences, obstruction and police assault.

All three men are from out of the County and have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Sergeant Amanda McKirdy, from Cumbria Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team, said: “We are not slowing down in our efforts to make Cumbria a hostile environment for those that travel here to commit crime.

“The Rural Crime Team were joined by partners and officers across Cumbria including those from Response, Neighbourhood Policing, Tactical Support Group, Road Crime Unit and Cumbria’s dog section.

“As well as stopping a number of vehicles we also submitted 12 pieces of intelligence, which help us build a bigger picture.

“I hope that the activity we have been undertaking is reassuring our communities that we are listening to them, and action is being taken. We will continue to show contempt for all types of rural crime and those criminals intent on committing it.

“However, we continue to need the support of our rural communities, this area is under reported and we encourage our communities to be vigilant and report any crimes and any suspicious activity to we can direct our resources accordingly.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This has been yet another superb Police Operation to take criminals out of communities and bring them to justice.  A clear illustration if it were needed that we have an effective Police Force dedicated to bearing down on criminals who may mistakenly think they can operate in our county and rural areas.

“We are now starting to really see and feel the effect of the increased officer numbers which have enabled us to establish the Rural Crime Team who together with Roads and Neighbourhood Policing teams are tackling criminals hard to make our communities even safer.  Our rural areas may be extensive but they are policed and with the help of residents we will continue to keep them safe but a hostile environment for crime and criminals.

“I am extremely grateful for the superb work of all officers involved in this operation and look forward to many more!

“Keeping Cumbria safe is a community effort. We can all help and we really need the public to be  eyes and ears on the ground, the more information the police have, the better they can target operations.

“I would urge residents to report anything that seems suspicious to 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“Together we can make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”

The Rural Crime Police Team have a dedicated Facebook page here – where the team will highlight issues, incidents, and advice on how our communities can keep themselves safe.

You can report information online at or you can call 101. In an emergency or if you witness a crime in action, please call 999.

To report information completely anonymously, contact the charity CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Operation Lantern is the constabulary’s dedicated operation to target rural crime within Cumbria. The operation aims to prevent and disrupt serious and organised rural acquisitive crime that occurs in our county.

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