Officers target rural criminals in cross-border operation

Cumbria police officers have once again taken part in an operation aimed at disrupting criminality in rural areas.

Operation Checkpoint took place on Wednesday night into Thursday morning last week.

The largest rural crime operation of its kind in the UK, Operation Checkpoint sees several police forces in the North of England working collaboratively to prevent and tackle rural acquisitive crime, wildlife, and poaching offences.

In Cumbria, 89 vehicles were proactively stopped as part of the operation – with police carrying out routine checks on anything that roused suspicion.

A 23-year-old man, from Carlisle, was arrested on suspicion of driving a vehicle while being over the drug limit after he was stopped by officers in Brampton. He has been released under investigation.

Officers searched 23 vehicles and 22 people during the operation. Three vehicles were seized as a result and four people received fixed penalty notices.

Cumbria Police are committed to targeting travelling rural criminals and are keen to encourage people to report suspicious activity.

Chief Inspector Lee Skelton, Cumbria Constabulary’s Rural Crime Lead, said: “We work closely with our bordering forces with this initiative which sees us work together to tackle rural crime.

“We are committed to targeting travelling rural criminals and are keen to encourage people to report suspicious activity.

“Rural crime offenders will cross county boundaries to commit their crimes in their attempt to evade detection. By sharing information and taking action, we are actively disrupting criminal activity which in turn makes our rural communities a safer place.

“We will continue to take part in such operations to ensure that offenders and identified and brought to justice. Cumbria is no light touch, and any criminality will not be tolerated.”

Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, said: “Cumbria is a mostly rural county so it’s incredibly important that we prioritise tackling rural crime.

“Rural crime can have a devastating effect on local residents and businesses so it’s really positive that we are able to tackle this in partnership with other Police forces in the North of England.

“I am pleased that the operation yielded positive results with one arrest being made and several fines being issued.

“The Police are doing all they can to tackle rural crime. However, we really need the public to be their eyes and ears on the ground. Local residents know their area better than anyone and can spot when someone or something is suspicious.

“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 proactive work was conducted in line with Operation Lantern – Cumbria Constabulary’s dedicated rural crime operation, which provides a co-ordinated response to thefts from farms in the county, including enhanced response to localised rural crime and support for those affected rural communities.

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.

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