Two police forces have joined forces to catch criminals following a spate of quadbike and farm machinery thefts.

North Yorkshire and Cleveland Police have launched a cross-border operation in the Whitby and Ryedale areas in the wake of thefts from farms in recent months. It's believed that more than 30 farms in North Yorkshire have been targeted by criminals from Cleveland Police's patch since November last year.

Specialist resources have been deployed after intelligence gathered revealed that the people wanted by police are crossing from one force's area to the other's to commit their crimes.

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This includes officers from the Rural Task Force, Roads Policing Groups, Operational Support Unit, Firearms Support Unit, the Dog Unit and the National Police Air Service.

In conjunction with the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams they're working to help reassure concerned members of the farming community and to provide crime prevention support and advise on how best to report these incidents.

Overnight patrols were carried out last week and resulted in officers recovering a 4x4 vehicle that was suspected to have been involved in rural crime in Middlesbrough.

Officers pursued the vehicle from North Yorkshire to Cleveland and enquiries are currently ongoing to trace the suspects who fled the vehicle.

A suspected stolen quad was also seized on January 18th as part of proactive patrols to tackle illegal off-road vehicles. It's suspected that the quad bike was stolen in September 2022. Enquiries are ongoing in relation to this.

While on patrol, police received a report of a burglary in progress at a premises in Slapewath.

Officers attended and arrested a 35-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman on suspicion of burglary. They have both been bailed pending further enquiries.

The Northern Echo: A suspected stolen quad bike was recovered by Cleveland Police last week.A suspected stolen quad bike was recovered by Cleveland Police last week. (Image: Cleveland Police/Facebook)

Cleveland Police’s operational lead for rural crime, Sergeant Rory Sadler said: “Cleveland Police are committed to tackling rural crime and this operation a prime example of how information and resource sharing between the two forces is producing positive results for the residents of both Cleveland and North Yorkshire.

“Those who commit crimes in rural areas do not operate within borders and neither do we. Further joint operations will continue to take place throughout the year.”

Farmers are being urged to report live incidents by calling 999 to help catch the suspects in the act.

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Detective Inspector Phil Giblin, from the Scarborough Investigation Hub, said: “The cross-border criminals are causing misery and fear among the farming community in the Whitby and Ryedale areas. This is abhorrent and simply cannot be tolerated.

“Together with our colleagues at Cleveland Police, we are continuing to deploy extensive resources in our collective effort to arrest and bring the suspects to justice.

“Our approach is relentless and any criminals heading our way can expect to be locked up by North Yorkshire Police or by Cleveland Police when they are pursued over the border.”

Police insist on not taking matters into your own hands and to always dial 999 for an emergency response.

It's believed that the criminals may have escaped capture in the past because of live crimes being reported to police via the 101 non-emergency number.

DI Giblin said: “Dialling 999 gives the police the best chance of catching suspects in the act before they leave the area.

“Also, for your own safety, ALWAYS leave it to the police to deal with suspects. Please do not take matters into your own hands.”


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As well as dialling 999 for an emergency response, non-emergency reports can be made via the North Yorkshire Police website or by calling 101, option 1.

Information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via an online report.