A SENIOR officer has praised the dedication of volunteer officers after they helped arrest 64 wanted suspects in seven days.

Last week, officers from across Northumbria Police came together for a targeted operation to locate those evading police, supported by a dedicated team of Special Constables.

Operation Bastion saw intelligence officers team-up with officers on the ground, who were tasked with tracking down those on the run.

From Monday, October 18 to 25, response officers and teams from Motor Patrols, the Dog Section as well as the Special Constables arrested a total of 64 people including 12 prison recalls, in connection with a range of offences including domestic violence, stalking and harassment.

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Chief Inspector Alan Pitchford, of Northumbria Police, has overseen the activity and yesterday praised the efforts of officers and staff, as well as the volunteers who played a huge role.

He said: “These fugitives had been identified as some of the most wanted suspects in our region and I am pleased so many have now been arrested as part of our combined efforts.

“These people have been deliberately evading arrest and it is only right we put an end to their time on the run.

“I would like to thank officers and staff from across the Force for their hard work and dedication which has helped to make this operation a huge success.

“I would especially like to thank our Special Constables, who volunteered a considerable amount of their own time to help us bring these wanted suspects into custody.

“We have also had some fantastic support from our partners across Newcastle and Gateshead and I want to further extend my thanks to them.

“I want the public to know that our efforts to trace those evading arrest extends beyond a week of action and anyone who knowingly does this can expect to be brought to justice by officers.”

A number of those arrested were escorted directly to the next available court.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of an individual who is wanted by police can report information online at the ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of the Northumbria Police website or by calling 101.

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