ALMOST 100 police officers and Rural Watch volunteers have taken part in a major crackdown on rural crime across North Yorkshire, looking for cross-border thieves, fly-tippers, poachers and drink drivers.

Operation Checkpoint focussed on Hambleton, Richmondshire, northern parts of Craven and Ryedale, the A1 near Harrogate and the A171 Moor Road corridor near Whitby and ran from Wednesday evening into the early hours of yesterday.

North Yorkshire Police said 43 officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Rural Taskforce were joined by 51 Rural Watch volunteers on patrol. .

A spokesperson said more than 80 vehicles and more than 20 people were checked, including a group of suspected poachers in the Castleton area.

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

"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."