Operation Checkpoint sees over 70 vehicles stopped and arrests made

An operation targeting rural crime within Cumbria was held on Monday (16 October).

Operation Checkpoint saw officers from across Cumbria join partners from the Environment Agency and Westmorland and Furness environmental protection, National Rural Crime Unit and DVSA for a day of activity.

This operation allows partners to work collaboratively to prevent and tackle rural acquisitive crime, wildlife and poaching offences.

During the day and evening officers stopped over 70 vehicles, conducted 10 person and vehicle searches and inspected several quads, trailers and vehicles.

The team made three arrests including one for going equipped and theft of a motor vehicle, one for failing to stop for police and another for a positive drugs wipe.

Two stolen vehicles were recovered near to Houghton and Appleby with investigations ongoing and a further vehicle was uplifted for having no tax.

Chief Inspector Lee Skelton, Cumbria Constabulary’s Rural Crime Lead, said: “We are not slowing down in our efforts to make Cumbria a hostile environment for those that live in Cumbria or travel here and commit crime.

“The Rural Crime Team were joined by partners and officers across Cumbria including those from response, neighbourhood policing, Tactical Support Group, Roads Policing Unit and Cumbria’s dog section, as well as Chief Officers and Senior Leaders  to disrupt criminality.

“Across the day we stopped over 70 vehicles and made arrests in relation to acquisitive crime offences. Further arrests will follow in the coming days.

“I hope that the actions we have being taking 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.”

John Bunn, Regulated Team Leader for the Environment Agency said: “We are determined to make life hard for criminals by disrupting and stopping illegal activity through tough enforcement action. By working with our partners, we can deliver effective interventions in the areas where it matters, take robust action against those who break the law and deter further waste crime.

“Members of the public can report an environmental or waste incident to the Environment Agency 24/7 incident hotline on 0800 807060.”

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

You can report information online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it 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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