Operation Hawk targets travelling criminals

16 January 2014

Police join forces to target travelling criminals in North England and Scotland.

On 14th January 2014, North Yorkshire Police’s cross-border crime crackdown Operation Hawk received a huge boost in the shape of Operation Checkpoint, a multi-force operation targeting travelling criminals operating across counties in the North of England and Scotland

Approximately 90 officers from Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Northumbria and Scotland were involved in the operation. 42 officers from North Yorkshire Police took part including local policing teams, roads policing officers, dog handlers and North Yorkshire Police’s Road Crime Team.

The operation was intelligence-led with the aim of :

– Gathering intelligence relating to travelling criminals

– Preventing and disrupting criminal activity

– Providing a high visibility presence to reassure local communities

Police targeted known criminals and their vehicles, along with other vehicles seen in suspicious circumstances, stopping and searching them to prevent criminal activity and gather intelligence.

Following yesterday’s operation please find some initial statistics below:

Number of vehicles checked:

– Northumbria around 80 vehicles checked

– Cumbria around 100 vehicles checked

– Scotland around 35 vehicles checked

A number of vehicles searched by these three forces as a result, but no arrests made.

North Yorkshire Police:

– Over 100 vehicles checked

Their efforts have also led to the recovery of a suspected stolen JCB, and two other stolen vehicles, and they also separately made two arrests for money laundering

A small number of other vehicle related offences were dealt with through warning notices and fixed penalty tickets etc. by the forces involved, and intelligence gained on known criminals known to be working in cross-border crime.

Inspector Richard Quinn for Cumbria Constabulary said: It is vitally important that we work together across county and country boundaries to target criminals. Criminals travel up and down our roads to commit crime – mostly thefts from rural communities. If criminals don’t recognise boundaries then neither should we.

Often these criminals will use back roads and commit rural acquisitive crime, including burglary, vehicle theft, farm thefts and scrap metal theft. They are opportunistic and think that by travelling to another county where they are less known that they are less likely to be caught.

Operation Checkpoint aims to prove these criminals wrong. By working closely together we can help keep all our communities safe places to live and work. We hope to make today’s operation the first of many.


North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, said: Today’s operation has been an excellent opportunity to enhance and support our ongoing Operation Hawk which was introduced last summer to protect North Yorkshire’s rural communities from travelling criminals.

Criminals know no boundaries and today’s show of force sends a clear message to the criminal fraternity that their activity will not be tolerated and we are all united with the aim of disrupting their behaviour and bringing them to justice, no matter where they choose to operate.

I also welcome the opportunity to work closely with our neighbouring forces which helps to enhance our already good working relationships and improve information sharing. I echo Inspector Quinn’s hope that many more operations of this scale will follow in the future.


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