Joint police operation tackles travelling criminals

Police officers from three forces have arrested a total of six people; seized 20 vehicles and stop checked hundreds of cars in a series of joint operations to tackle travelling criminality.

Officers from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire patrolled together on three, two day operations in October and November to target burglary and metal theft. Static and mobile automatic number plate recognition camera’s (ANPR) were used to patrol the area around the M69, M6, M1 and A5 through all three counties.

ANPR is a computerised system that allows number plates to be read by a camera. The number is then fed through a variety of databases including PNC (Police National Computer) and the DVLA. Officers then stop vehicles that activate the system which can be for a range of reasons.

The latest operation, on Monday 12 November and Tuesday 13 November, was timed to coincide with Diwali day celebrations to ensure burglars didn’t target people who were out celebrating.

On 12 November, two men from Leicester - aged 21 and 26 - were arrested on suspicion of stealing diesel and have been released on police bail. One has been given a caution and the other was released with no further action.

On 13 November, a 20 year old man from Kersley in Coventry was arrested and recalled to prison. Two people were given cautions for drug related offences and two vehicles were seized bringing the total number of vehicles seized across the six days to 20.

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Blatchly said: “The reduction and detection of offenders committing burglaries and vehicle crime is a key priority for Northamptonshire Police. The ongoing work with our colleagues in Warwickshire and Leicestershire supports our efforts in sending out a clear message that we will not tolerate criminal activity, and those offenders found responsible will be brought to justice.”

PC Paul Hardwick from Leicestershire Constabulary said: “The results of these three operations have proved how valuable it has been to work with other forces. Criminals don’t respect borders and they use our road network to travel about. Our operations have denied them the use of our roads. Not only have we made arrests and seized vehicles we have gathered a lot of useful information and disrupted criminal activity all of which we hope will reduce crime and reassure the community.

“We have all found the operations so beneficial that we have agreed to run more in the foreseeable future.”

Temporary Inspector Dean Reid, from Warwickshire Police, said: “This joint operation was a valuable opportunity for all three forces to work together to address cross border criminality by denying those responsible the use of the fast road network which runs through our counties.

“It was a very successful operation, with this final two days being times to coincide with Diwali when traditionally Asian communities are targeted for their gold jewellery.

“There were no such incidents within Warwickshire during the two nights, but we will continue to work with partners and other agencies to target the people who are responsible to make sure that our communities are protected from harm.”