NORTH Yorkshire Police has joined forces with teams of volunteers for a high-profile rural crime operation in North Yorkshire.

Overnight on March 29 (Monday) and into the early hours of the following day, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Operational Support Unit worked alongside Rural Watch volunteers across the county.

A highly visible police presence saw patrols along the A1, A167 and A66 corridors, as well as in the Stokesley, Bedale, Boroughbridge, Richmond, Thirsk and Easingwold areas.

During the operation, 16 vehicles were stopped for checks. That resulted in two vehicles being taken off the roads – one for no tax, the other due to careless driving – as well as a traffic offence report issued for an expired MOT.

Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Our regular Operation Checkpoint patrols send a highly-visible message to criminals who target our rural areas: your illegal activity will not be tolerated.

“The support we receive from residents in rural areas continues to be outstanding, in particular our teams of Rural Watch volunteers.

“They dedicate their own time to work alongside us and help protect their communities from harm – making an invaluable contribution to the fight against rural crime.”

Mobile Rural Watches operate across the North Yorkshire countryside, supporting the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Rural Taskforce.

Volunteers use their own vehicles and are equipped with police radios so they can communicate with officers. By drawing on the expert local knowledge of the volunteers, any suspicious activity or vehicles can be checked out in real time.

To find out more about Rural Watch schemes elsewhere in North Yorkshire, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, or Rural Taskforce officer, by dialling 101.