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Police crackdown on crime this Christmas

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick

11:29am 22nd November 2010
(Updated 10:47am 23rd November 2010)

Protecting the public from serious acquisitive crime is the main priority for North Yorkshire Police in the run up to Christmas.

Today (Monday 22nd November 2010) sees the launch of Operation Highwayman, which is an intelligence-led overt roads policing initiative, targeting criminals and organised crime groups operating in the county.

The force-wide operation aims to disrupt cross-border criminals who enter North Yorkshire and the City of York to commit offences such as burglary, car theft and drug offences before escaping on the accessible road routes back into neighbouring counties.

Operation Highwayman, which will also offer additional resources to the Christmas drink and drug drive campaign, will target known offenders and routes into the county during the hours of darkness.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

"Operation Highwayman has been established to offer protection and reassurance to residents in the month leading up to Christmas.

"Our objective is to act on the intelligence we have, and continue to gather, to disrupt criminal use of the roads by organised crime gangs, drink and drug drivers and cross-border criminals.

"We know that travelling criminals, particularly those from the West Yorkshire area, are entering our county to commit crime in our communities. They are not welcome here and we will not tolerate them disrupting the lives of our residents. We are ready for them and are determined to bring them to justice.

"It is our intention to protect the residents of North Yorkshire by using our resources intelligently to identify who we need to target and where we need to be to catch them."

The campaign will also provide extra support to existing initiatives, such as Operation Raccoon which has proved highly successful in tackling 2-in-1 burglaries - when a property is broken into with the aim of stealing a vehicle - in Harrogate, and Operation Secure which is an ongoing operation fighting serious acquisitive crime in York. 

Police will be utilising specialist resources to ensure that both local and travelling criminals do not get an easy ride in the period leading up to Christmas, and officers are urging the public to play their part in assisting the fight against crime.

ACC Madgwick added:

"We will be doing all we can and using our skills and resources to maximum effect to ensure that criminals do not spoil Christmas for our residents.

"It is especially distressing to fall victim to crime at this time of year and I would urge the public to take the necessary precautions to ensure that their property is protected from potential offenders.

"Review your existing security arrangements and share any concerns you may have with your local Safer Neighbourhood Team. Look out for any unusual behaviour in your area and if you see something or somebody that looks suspicious make sure you report it.

"Operation Highwayman is an intelligence-led operation and acting on information from the community is a key part of our strategy."

If you would like to report any suspicious behaviour in your area or have any information you would like to share with the police, contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0845 60 60 24 7.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PICTURE: Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick

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