Bid to stop ‘cross-border criminals’ targeting Scarborough and Ryedale

A clear strategy for dealing with rural crime needs to be developed by the government, the National Farmers' Union said.
A clear strategy for dealing with rural crime needs to be developed by the government, the National Farmers' Union said.

A police operation has been launched to stop criminals travelling into Scarborough and Ryedale to steal quad bikes, farm machinery and other valuables.

Led by North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, Operation Countryside will bring together local officers and specialist units to tackle ‘cross-border offenders’ who use the roads to prey on isolated communities.

Police say they will be using intelligence reports and live-time Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to track suspicious vehicles and create a ‘hostile environment’ for those intending to commit crime in rural parts of the two districts.

Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “We know that offenders from urban areas outside North Yorkshire travel into our communities intent on stealing quad bikes, farm machinery and other valuable property.

“Operation Countryside will see specialist police resources deployed proactively across Scarborough and Ryedale’s road networks, dealing with road traffic offences, targeting suspicious vehicles and creating a hostile environment for cross-border criminals.

“High-profile patrols will create a visible deterrent, intelligence will be gathered and used to inform live-time deployments, and officers will use a range of police powers to disrupt would-be offenders wherever possible.

“Patrols will focus not just on the main arterial routes, such as the A171, A174 and A165, but also minor roads frequented by criminals trying to avoid detection.

“Criminals who travel to the Scarborough and Ryedale area will find it very difficult to get in and out again without being spotted, stopped and challenged. North Yorkshire is one of the safest places in the country and residents can be reassured that we’re determined to keep it that way.”

The operation begins this month, and will run throughout the summer. Local officers will be joined by specialist police teams including the Rural Taskforce, Roads Policing Group and Road Crime Team.