Police stopped nearly 50 cars and made several arrests as part of an evening of tackling rural crime with other forces.

Cumbria Constabulary’s rural crime team took part in Operation Checkpoint, which involved officers from the county as well as Northumbria, Durham, Cleveland, North Yorkshire, and Scotland.

Vehicles were proactively stopped as part of a week of action with officers carrying out routine checks on anything they deemed suspicious.

In Cumbria, officers stopped nearly 50 vehicles during the evening of November 15- ten of which were subject to searches.

This activity follows a crime trend in the area whereby vans have been used to transport stolen agricultural machinery, according to the police.

Officers said they also searched four people and submitted eight intelligence reports.

They said they also arrested five people during the course of the evening of November 15 for drug and driving offences.

Rural crime team sergeant Amanda McKirdy said: “We continue to see the value in working alongside our colleagues over the borders to target travelling criminals.

“Working together and communicating is key to making our county a hostile place for criminality.

“The collaboration through Operation Checkpoint allows us to continue to take firm action against those who commit crime here, resulting in support with arrests and property recovery.

“I’d also like to credit our dedicated volunteers and rural communities who remain committed to reporting suspicious activity and enabling our relentless pursuit of those not welcome here."

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “It genuinely is a showcase of what can be achieved where we all play a part in fighting crime. 

“As always intelligence and information are key and that is where every member of the public can help by being the eyes and ears and passing information so that the police can target action.

“I would particularly note the immediate effect that our new dedicated rural crime team have had across the county focusing on our rural areas. 

“Their work together with partners is helping focus and target resources for maximum effect. 

“Checkpoint highlights the work they are now doing every day across Cumbria.”