MORE than 100 vehicles were stopped and a string of arrests made as part of a region-wide rural crime crackdown last week.

The latest Operation Checkpoint initiative was staged across the North with officers, partners and volunteers targeting rural criminals.

The largest UK rural crime operation, Operation Checkpoint sees police forces working collaboratively to tackle rural acquisitive crime, wildlife and poaching offences.

Across Northumbria, Durham, Cleveland and Cumbria, more than 100 vehicles were proactively stopped as part of the dedicated week of action – with police carrying out routine checks on anything suspicious.

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One driver pulled over was wanted for failing to appear in court. He was subsequently arrested, while another driver was found to be under the influence of drugs and was duly detained.

Inspector Garry Neill, of Northumbria Police’s dedicated rural policing team, said: "We’ve made great strides in recent months through planned operations like this, and with the support of partners and our neighbouring forces, we really are hitting rural criminals hard.

“More than £1 million worth of stolen farming and agricultural equipment has been successfully recovered since our rural policing team was formed in 2020, but there’s still so much more to come in our ongoing fight against rural crime."