Police seize 42 vehicles in December

A car seized in the Richmond area.

Police in Richmondshire seized 42 vehicles in December as part of a crackdown on cross-border criminals and uninsured drivers.

The figure means more than 200 vehicles have now been taken off the roads since the operation began at the start of October.

Inspector Martin Metcalfe, from Richmondshire neighbourhood policing team, said new handheld technology has helped rural officers identify travelling criminals more quickly.

He added: “Vehicle stops in the area during December have resulted in arrests for various offences with the main one being a well-known cross border nominal who was arrested on suspicion of burglary and at the same time their mode of transport was seized.

“The new technology also identifies uninsured drivers. If you’ve ever been hit by an uninsured driver, you’ll know why that’s important.”

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.

Insp Metcalfe said some criminals think the district is a soft target because it is so rural.

But he added: “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.

“So my message to anyone thinking of coming to Richmondshire to commit crime is very simple – the odds are really not in their favour and they’ll be making a huge mistake.”

Seized 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 this period as was the case with the one pictured after being seized in the Richmond area.

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.”