Operation Checkpoint targets rural crime across five forces

Police forces have once again partnered-up as part of a multi-force operation to target criminal activity in rural areas.

Operation Checkpoint, a cross-border initiative to tackle rural crime, commenced on the 22nd of November, running into the early hours of the 23rd.

On this occasion, Cumbria officers worked alongside officers from Northumbria Police, Durham Constabulary, North Yorkshire Police and Police Scotland.

During the operation 39 vehicles were stopped.

Those involved locally in supporting Operation Checkpoint include Cumbria Police Officers, PCSOs, Special Constabulary officers, and Farmwatch volunteers.

This proactive work supports officers in gaining intelligence around rural crime, deterring offending and also helps to keep the county’s roads safe.

During the operation a 27-year-old man from Maryport, was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of Class B Drugs, Cannabis. He has since been released under investigation.

Chief Inspector Lee Skelton, Cumbria Constabulary’s Rural Crime Lead, said:

“Operation Checkpoint is a well-established initiative that see forces work together to tackle rural crime.

“Rural crime offenders will cross county boundaries to commit their crimes in their attempt to evade detection.

“By sharing information and taking action, together we are actively disrupting criminal activity which in turn makes our rural communities a safer place.

“This initiative will run again and we continue to do all we can to stop criminals from targeting rural areas of our county.”

Efforts to tackle rural crime are assisted greatly by people reporting information on suspicious activity to police.

CI Skelton continued:

“Information from our communities can be crucial in our efforts to investigate offences that have occurred and also prevent further incidents.

“If you notice suspicious activity, we want to hear from you.

“With such information, not only do we act here in Cumbria, but we also can share this with neighbouring forces which can further disrupt criminals from outside our county.

“In Cumbria we run regular enforcement initiatives as part of Operation Lantern, which aims to prevent and disrupt serious and organised rural acquisitive crime that occurs in our county.

“We do this by working closely with rural communities so we can gain as much information on suspicious activity. We then subsequently robustly tackle any criminal activity by taking enforcement action.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said:

“We know that rural crime can have a devastating impact on farmers and their businesses and those who live in rural areas.

“It is absolutely vital therefore that we work together with partner agencies and other Constabularies to keep crime away from our rural and farming communities across the county.

“I am pleased to see this operation and know that local residents value this work and greater police visibility in rural areas.

“I would urge the public to work with the Police and ask that they pass information on regarding anything suspicious in their rural communities to the Police.”

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.

If you are interested in volunteering with Cumbria Police, including as part of Farmwatch, visit: https://www.cumbria.police.uk/careers/volunteers/expression-of-interest-in-volunteering-form-confirmation.

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