Finding an 85-year-old missing man and arresting a man wanted for robbery were just some of the good results officers had as part of Operation Checkpoint this week.
Operation Checkpoint is a one-night, multi-force operation targeting travelling criminals operating between counties in the North of England and Scotland.
It has been identified that members of organised crime groups continue to operate between force areas committing acquisitive crime, potentially countrywide and predominantly in rural areas.
Intelligence shows that a large number of criminal associates from across the North of England are involved in thefts, burglaries, handling and disposal of stolen property from rural areas.
A wide range of vehicles are used to transport stolen property including hire vans and ‘pool’ cars that criminals use across our road network to lessen the chance of detection.
Operation Checkpoint clamps down on these criminal behaviours and last night police officers, PCSOs, special constables and Ruralwatch volunteers came out in force.
Based at strategic locations and using the latest communication technology, officers and volunteers carried out patrols and worked with the neighbouring forces of Cleveland, Northumbria and North Yorkshire Police to intercept suspects.
Some of the results were:
• In Chester-le-Street a warrant was carried out in partnership with DEFRA to recover veterinary equipment which suspected of being used illegally and a cannabis grow.
• Three vehicles were stopped including one that was suspected of poaching.
• Checks on a man who was stopped for riding a suspected stolen bike also revealed he was wanted for an alleged robbery in Northumbria and an eight tonne digger that was suspected of being stolen from Jarrow was also recovered this week from the Grange Villa area.
• A driver who was stopped in Barnard Castle for having a headlight out was also found to be driving whilst under the influence of drugs and arrested.
• Reassurance was also offered to residents, especially farmers, and among the results last night, a vulnerable 85-year-old man who had gone missing from home in Barnard Castle was found after some great teamwork from our Ruralwatch members.
Sergeant Angela Drasdo, who led the operation for Durham Constabulary, said: “This was a great example of how our communities come together to support us and help us to disrupt criminals who operate across our areas.
“We had a particularly good response from our Ruralwatch volunteers across the Dales and want to thank them for their continued support.”