Another 38 vehicles seized by police during crackdown

More than 38 vehicles were seized by police last month in a crackdown on cross-border criminals, uninsured drivers and other offences.

Police have now seized at least 339 vehicles from the roads of Richmondshire since the operation began in October.

Police say handheld technology, rolled out to neighbourhood policing teams and response teams in the district last year, has helped rural local officers identify travelling criminals more quickly.

The new technology identifies uninsured drivers.

Inspector Martin Metcalfe said: “Up here in Richmondshire, we patrol some of the most remote and sparsely-populated communities in northern England.

“So seizing vehicles linked to crime is a very effective way of stopping criminals who travel here, before they’ve even had chance to commit an offence.

“With the use of this technology, which my team and other Officers can use through a mobile phone, we can identify potential criminals and other illegal road users more quickly and on a wider scale.

“Because we’re mostly a rural area, some criminals think we’re a soft target. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

“In fact, cross-border criminals stand out to us and we heavily patrol routes we know they use. On top of that, we’re using technology that helps us identify them in an instant and is very difficult to evade.”

Sized vehicles are taken to compounds where they are stored for a set amount of time.

Impounded vehicles may then be crushed and recycled if they are not claimed after a certain period.

Insp Metcalfe added: “One of the reasons vehicle seizures are effective is because they disrupt criminality, as offenders who travel into rural areas no longer have the means to move around.

“As well as patrolling larger roads such as the A66, we also patrol smaller rural roads that are known routes for travelling criminals.

“Sometimes suspects we arrest are surprised that we know where they were, or the routes they were using. In reality, we know the area far better than most criminals.

“We have the advantage, which is bad news for travelling criminals but great news for you, the law-abiding public of Richmondshire who we’re here to keep safe.”