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Cumbria Police crackdown on Christmas criminals

Cumbria Police van Credit: ITV News Border

Cumbria Police have launched a campaign aimed at stopping criminals travelling to the county in the run up to Christmas.

Operation Atoll will see increased patrols to stop and search suspect vehicles.

In particular officers will be focusing on ATM crime, freight crime, cash in transit crime and commercial burglaries.

Detective Inspector Neil Cooper said:

“Cumbria is a very low crime area however our excellent transport links – particularly the M6 – make it vulnerable to travelling criminals.

“These criminals tend to focus on high value crimes, usually around commercial businesses. These crimes can see an increase at this time of year with the darker nights closing in.

“Our aim is to make it as difficult as possible for travelling criminals to commit any crime in Cumbria. I would encourage members of the public to contact the police if they see anyone acting suspiciously around business premises, cash machines or lorries that are parked.”

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Two men in court charged with Ecclefechan murder

Ecclefechan police cordon
The scene of the police investigation at Ecclefechan Credit: ITV Border

Two men have been charged with the murder of a man in the Dumfriesshire village of Ecclefechan.

20 year old Dean Melnyk and 22 year old Andrew Brown are accused of killing Kevin MacKay on Thursday 22nd August.

40 year old Mr MacKay was found dead just yards from his home in Peacock Place.

The accused men appeared in court in Dumfries this afternoon, before Sheriff Kenneth Ross.

No pleas were made and both men were remanded in custody.

Police comment on Ecclefechan death arrests

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Kerr, from Police Scotland, said:

"I want to thank the community in Ecclefechan for the assistance and cooperation given to police officers investigating this crime.

"As we know the village has experienced a difficult time with the recent two deaths, however they are to be commended for the way they have pulled together and helped us in our enquiries.

"Police Scotland will continue enquiries over the coming days and will work with the community over the coming weeks and months to provide reassurance that our focus in Police Scotland is maintained on keeping people safe."

– Det Ch Insp Jim Kerr, Police Scotland
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