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Massive police crackdown on travelling criminals

Police handler with dog in Operation Checkpoint

139 vehicles were stopped and cash and drugs seized in a joint police operation across the north of England.

Five police forces took part in Operation Checkpoint which ran from 3pm to 1am on Tuesday November 25 with the aim of providing reassurance patrols across rural communities, gathering intelligence and intercepting travelling criminals.

The operation saw more than 80 officers from North Yorkshire, Durham, Cleveland, Cumbria and Northumbria Police, take to the roads in what is the fourth operation of its kind, designed to create a hostile environment for travelling criminals to operate.

Intelligence shows that organised crime groups are targeting rural areas, moving across county borders in the north of England to steal goods, predominantly from rural communities.

Car stopped in Operation Checkpoint

DURHAM RESULTS 17 Vehicles stopped One fixed penalty issued for speeding Two vehicle defect rectification notices issued

NORTHUMBRIA RESULTS 10 vehicles stopped Assisted with arrest of Sunderland man in North Yorkshire and carried out related search of premises in Sunderland

CLEVELAND RESULTS Two vehicles stopped Crime prevention patrols in the Eston Hills area targeting illegal off-road bikes

Dog thefts rise dramatically in our region

Dog thefts in our region have risen by almost a third in just three years.

There have been 60 incidents in the last year - 28 percent more than two years earlier.

North Yorkshire has seen the biggest increase. There were two thefts in 2011, but already there have been 17 so far this year.

Footage of dogs being stolen.

This footage of two dogs being stolen last week went viral on social networks, making Nelson and Brock too hot to handle.

They were reunited with their owners hours later.

But dog thefts in our region are on the rise. In the 12 months to September this year dogs were stolen in 60 separate incidents across the North East's four police forces.

Joanne Smith had her two Labradors Jack and Hamish stolen in June 2013 in the yard of her farmhouse on the County Durham/ North Yorkshire border:

The reasons behind an increase in dog thefts are varied.

Some are being sold on the internet while others are being taken for breeding or even illegal dog fighting.

The Blue Cross organisation has the following tips for keeping your dogs safe:

  • Don't leave your dog tied up outside a shop where they are vulnerable and a potential target
  • Don't leave your dog alone in the car
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped
  • Your dog should always wear a collar and ID tag with your name and address on it
  • Take clear photos of your dog to help prove ownership if necessary
  • Have lots of photos of you with your dog
  • Take care when choosing a dog minder
  • Beware of strangers asking questions about your dog
  • Vary walk times and routes
  • Keep your garden secure
  • Keep your dog in view in the garden
  • If you breed puppies for sale, watch who you invite in to view
  • Decide who owns the dog in your household. Pets can become the centre of ownership disputes in the event of bereavement or break-up


Diabetes can lead to limb loss

Less than half of people in the North East are aware that Type 2 diabetes can lead to amputations, according to a survey by Diabetes UK.

The charity says have been almost one thousand diabetes-related amputations in the region in the past three years. It wants to raise awareness about the risks associated with the condition, which also include blindness and death.

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