A SPECIALIST taskforce took to the roads around Ryedale and Scarborough as part of a major clampdown on rural crime.

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce joined forces with Humberside Police and volunteer watch schemes for Operation Galaxy, on May 31.

The operation targeted people committing crime in rural areas by using automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR), proactive stop checks and information from the community.

“This operation involved the Rural Taskforce working closely with Humberside Police colleagues, tackling rural criminality on the both sides of the border, between Scarborough and Ryedale in North Yorkshire, and Humberside,” said Sergeant Tim Wilson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce.

“It was a very successful day, and we will be joining forces again in the near future.”

At 12.30pm, on May 31, officers located a wanted man in a van in Rillington, who was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Although he was later released with no further action, police were able to put in place measures to safeguard those involved in the original incident.

At 3.20pm, on the same day, officers stopped a suspected stolen Ford Focus car on the A64 at Malton.

It was seized on behalf of West Yorkshire Police, who will be conducting further enquiries.

“Volunteers are a huge part of North Yorkshire Police and the Rural Taskforce,” added Sgt Wilson.

“Our rural communities regularly come together to assist us in catching criminals.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have the success we do, so we’re hugely grateful for their support.”