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Nine forces form region-wide Community Protection Notice

Cumbria, Northumbria and Durham are among the forces who have banded together in a bid to tackle rural crime.

The joint operation across the North of England is aimed at tackling cross-border poachers. 

Operation Hawkeye has already been in place to protect rural communities and target transient criminals. Now the creation of a region-wide Community Protection Notice will see all nine forces work as one to prosecute poachers and rural offenders. 

The CPN provides an easier tactic to target offenders than the more traditional poaching and trespass legislation which can be difficult to prove in court. 

And because of the joint approach, offenders who commit offences across multiple counties can then be prosecuted jointly. Otherwise, cases that took place in different areas would need to be heard separately. 

It will mean there are greater powers available to combat and prosecute serial cross-border criminals who breach their CPN conditions. 

Northumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Ford, who is also the national policing lead for Rural and Wildlife Crime, said: “This is a significant and innovative move that will help us combat rural crime not only in Northumbria but across the North of England.

“It is one of the biggest collective crackdowns of its kind in the UK and should send a clear message to those who target our most remote communities - rural crime will not be tolerated.”

Durham Constabulary’s Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer, PC Dave Williamson, has been training officers across the force area on the initiative.

He said: “The use of CPWs and CPNs is a significant tool at tackling the problem of wildlife and agricultural crime as it allows us to prosecute offenders more easily and something we have been utilising for the last year or so.

“This joined up approach will kick-start a synchronised process across our region, revolutionising how we deal with this type of crime.”

The forces taking part are Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland, Cumbria, Humberside, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The scheme has been supported by the CPS. 

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