Police reunite forces to target travelling criminals in North England and Scotland

20 March 2014

On 19  March 2014, the second Operation Checkpoint took place – a multi-force operation targeting travelling criminals operating across counties in the North of England and Scotland.

Officers from Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Northumbria, Scotland, Cleveland and Durham were involved in the operation.

Officers from local policing teams were joined by colleagues from roads policing teams, the Special Constabulary, dog handlers and PCSOs.

It was an intelligence-led operation, aiming to:

  • Gather intelligence on travelling criminals
  • Prevent and disrupt criminal activity
  • Provide 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.

Inspector Richard Quinn for Cumbria Constabulary said: After the success of the first Operation Checkpoint we were all keen to keep working closely together to tackle thefts from rural communities. I am delighted that Cleveland and Durham have now also joined the operation.

Criminals don’t recognise boundaries, and it is important we recognise this and continue to work across force boundaries to prevent and deter crime.


North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, added: It’s good to see this joint initiative going from strength to strength and building on the success of the first operation. It provides an excellent opportunity to enhance and support our ongoing Operation Hawk which was introduced last year to protect North Yorkshire’s rural communities from travelling criminals.

By seizing the opportunity to work with our colleagues in neighbouring forces, we can build on our good working relationships and information sharing to target criminality.

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.


Cumbria Police

  • 66 vehicles stop checked in Eden
  • 10 vehicles stopped in the Alston Moor area, and four vehicle searches were carried out.
  • An Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) vehicle was deployed last night, and stopped a further 14 vehicles

Durham Police

Durham Police ran an operation earlier in the day, as a pre-cursor for Operation Checkpoint. It was held between Weardale NPT and Customs and Excise (on the A688):

  • 531 vehicles stop checked
  • 296 vehicles checked for red diesel
  • 2 x detections of red diesel leading to road side interviews each receiving £530 fine
  • 1 x vehicle uplifted for no insurance
  • 1 x fixed penalty notice for no seatbelt
  • 4 x verbal warnings for minor traffic issues
  • Intelligence gathered

North Yorkshire Police

  • 25 vehicles stopped
  • 15 vehicles searched
  • 19 people searched
  • 2 cannabis warnings issued
  • 2 vehicles seized
  • 3 fixed penalty notices for driving with a mobile, no insurance and driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition
  • 1 report for summons for unlicensed carriage of scarp
  • 6 arrests including:
  • 1 driving a mini bus while disqualified
  • 2 arrested for possession of Class A and B drugs on the A1 near Ripon
  • 2 arrests is the Crosshills area for possession of Class A drugs, possessing offensive weapon and money laundering.
  • 1 arrest for possession with intent to supply on the A167 between Northallerton and Darlington

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