Suspected drink driver caught after crash near Leyburn during police operation

The Renault Megane which crashed near Skipton.

A suspected drink driver was caught near Leyburn last night as police and rural watch volunteers in the district took part in the biggest rural crime operation in the country.

Police officers and PCSOs from the North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Durham, Cleveland and Northumbria forces worked alongside volunteer watch teams for Operation Checkpoint.

In North Yorkshire, four vehicles were seized by police, four suspects were arrested, and a number of people found in suspicious circumstances were dispersed from the county.

At 9.10pm, police received a report of an Audi car crashed into a hedge near Leyburn.

The 40-year-old driver failed a roadside breath test, and was detained and taken to hospital for treatment.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

In North Yorkshire, the operation involved officers and PCSOs from the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Rural Taskforce and Roads Policing Group, alongside 54 Mobile Rural Watch volunteers covering North Craven, Upper Wharfedale, Richmond, Richmondshire, Bedale, Easingwold and Thirsk.

The other incidents included:

  • At 8.50pm, police received a report of a man shining a torch at barn in a remote, rural area near Skipton. The caller passed a description to officers. At 10.30pm, a Renault Megane failed to stop for police in Carleton. It crashed a short time later in Cononley, ending up on its roof. Two suspects ran away, but the driver, a 17-year-old boy, was detained and taken to hospital for treatment. The car was recovered for forensic examination.
  • At 9.50pm, North Yorkshire Police officers located a Mercedes van, previously reported stolen from Middlesbrough, on the A171. It was stopped in Scarborough, and the 33-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, and handed over to Cleveland Police.
  • At 10.55pm, an Audi car with three 18-year-olds on board was stopped at Mickleby, near Whitby. The driver tested positive for cannabis, and was arrested on suspicion of drug driving. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue [12200024725].
  • At 11.45pm, three men in a white van were stopped and checked at Hawnby, in the North York Moors. The driver was issued with a Traffic Offence Report for carrying a passenger in a dangerous manner. They were also given a Dispersal Order, requiring them to leave North Yorkshire.
  • At 1.20am, at Slingsby, near Malton, three suspected poachers in a Ford Ranger were stopped and checked. Due to the cirucmstances, they were issued with a Dispersal Order, requiring them to leave North Yorkshire

Inspector Matthew Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Once again, our high-visibility presence and patrols as part of Operation Checkpoint have sent a strong message to criminals who use road networks to who target rural areas: their illegal activity will not be tolerated.

“Checkpoint also lets us build on our good relationships with neighbouring forces, allowing us to share resources and information to clamp down on criminals, wherever they are from and wherever they are going.

“The support we get from residents in rural areas continues to be fantastic, in particular our Mobile Rural Watch volunteers. I can’t praise their dedication enough. They give up their own time to work alongside the police, and help protect their communities from harm – making a huge contribution to the fight against rural crime.

“Our proactive work will continue, keeping our rural communities safe, and making it extremely difficult for criminals.”

Mobile Rural Watches operate across the North Yorkshire countryside, supporting the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Rural Taskforce.

Volunteers use their own vehicles, and are equipped with police radios so they can communicate with officers. By drawing on the expert local knowledge of the volunteers, any suspicious activity or vehicles can be checked out in real time.

To find out more about Rural Watch schemes elsewhere in North Yorkshire, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, or Rural Taskforce officer, by dialling 101.