MORE cooperation between police forces could crank up the pressure on criminals who travel long distances to commit crimes, the Assistant Chief Constable for North Yorkshire has said.

Paul Kennedy said by working with other forces outside the county, a better picture of travelling criminals could be built up and more information could be turned into evidence.

His suggestion came after Operation Checkpoint was staged earlier this year, when North Yorkshire Police worked alongside forces in Northumbria, Cumbria and Scotland to clamp down on cross-border crime.

Mr Kennedy said: “We are committed to working with all police forces, not just those in our immediate borders to understand and respond better to cross border crime. There could be better cooperation between the forces.

“We’re hoping we can run Operation Checkpoint again but with greater levels of input between all forces in the north east and west because we found we were looking at the same travelling criminals as Cumbria. That’s what our intelligence was telling us.”

Mr Kennedy said officers used a wide variety of sources to garner information, but this could lead to problems in “turning intelligence into evidence”.

However, the sharing of information with other forces would help. When Operation Checkpoint ran last month, North Yorkshire Police stopped and checked more than 100 vehicles, and recovered several vehicles which were believed to have been stolen.

Mr Kennedy said: “We seized a couple of cars and there were a lot of stop checks on vehicles and a lot of intelligence gained which will be the foundation for the next set of operations.

"We are committed to maintaining our own Operation Hawk targeting cross-border crime and working with other forces to work better at targeting that small fraction of criminality that is committed to travelling crime.

“We know from maintaining these operations we have a strong track record of arrests.

“The public can expect to see times when they will see a lot more officers on our road networks stopping vehicles and particularly targeting vehicles that commit crime.”

Mr Kennedy said the results could lead to further investment in certain areas, including Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems, which could work alongside conventional road teams to gain more information.

He said: “We know ANPR has a tremendous success rate.

“Putting those two together is strengthening our campaign. That means more arrests, more stop checks and that makes the argument for more investment because we know it works.”