ON Monday night officers from Cumbria were part of Operation Checkpoint, which sees police forces working together to prevent and disrupt criminality within rural communities.

Cumbria’s Rural Crime Team were joined by officers from the Firearms Support Unit, Roads Policing Unit, Special Constabulary and rural volunteers.

Officers were also joined by Assistant Chief Constable Jonny Blackwell, Chief Inspector Lee Skelton and the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner David Allen.

Volunteers from the Kirkby Stephen community also assisted with the operation.

Officers focused on the eastern side of Cumbria which shares borders with a number of other forces.

Officers stopped 47 vehicles during the operation with three vehicle searches, and three traffic offence reports issued. Officers also carried out 23 engagements with members of the public where crime prevention advice was given around security.

Speaking about the operation, Inspector Alex Johnson said: “We continue to show contempt for all types of rural crime and those criminals intent on committing it.

“Operation Checkpoint shows our continued commitment and our proactivity in working alongside bordering forces to target individuals travelling to commit crime.

“I hope this provides reassurance to our communities, that we continue to take action. We also had some positive engagement with the community on security of their property.

“We continue to need the support of our rural communities, by being vigilant and report any crimes and any suspicious activity to we can direct our resources accordingly.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, David Allen, said: “As we live in a predominantly rural county it is incredibly important that tackling rural crime is a priority for Cumbria Constabulary. Tackling rural crime was one of my key pre-election pledges, so I am delighted to see the force taking planned action in respect of it.

“I was able to attend Operation Checkpoint on Monday, and I was delighted to see the Police proactively stopping suspicious vehicles as well as providing prevention advice to the public. The planning and execution of the operation was meticulous and, I’m pleased to see, involved local volunteers. This, to my mind, captures the Chief Constable’s 4Cs vision for the force - Contempt for Criminality and Community Focus working with local partners to investigate and prevent crime and solve problems.

“Prevention is key to reducing crime – if we make it harder for criminals to take advantage of us, the less likely they will try."