More than £1m has now been set aside for new technology to target travelling criminals in North Yorkshire.
As many as one in four crimes committed in the county, from theft to burglary and child sexual exploitation, is carried out by criminals from outside North Yorkshire’s borders, police have revealed.
And now, to target these offenders, North Yorkshire Police has set aside £1.06m to invest in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to track cars in the county.
“I am delighted with this decision to improve our capability in tackling cross-border crime,” said Chief Constable Dave Jones.
“It is an area where we are already very successful, through initiatives like Operation Hawk, but this will take us to the next level.”
The plans were initially revealed earlier this year as part of the force’s new way of working, the Operational Policing Model (OPM).
The agreement of the funds has now been officially signed off by the county’s crime commissioner.
“Cross-border criminality is a major issue for North Yorkshire, as we border on so many other counties,” said Julia Mulligan.
“It is vitally important that the police have the tools they need to target these criminals effectively, so we can make it clear that we will not allow our communities to be prey to their activities.”
This investment agreement is the first step of the force’s new OPM, which is being introduced until April.
Other measures to be brought in include the introduction of ‘Investigation hubs’ across the county, including in Harrogate, to speed up the way police look at crimes.
Officers are also to be fitted with mobile handsets in 2015, to cut paperwork.
“ANPR is just one piece of the jigsaw,” added Chief Constable Dave Jones. “Even more important are the changes we are making across the service.
“These are challenging times for police services across the country, but we are doing everything we can to ensure that the police service is effective and efficient, and that officers spend their time where it really matters – out in the community keeping people safe.”