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Police operation targets suspected criminal behaviour in Dorset and Hampshire towns

10 November 2016
A cross-border operation targeting and disrupting suspected criminal behaviour in Dorset and Hampshire towns took place on Monday 7 November 2016.

This was the third occasion in 2016 that Dorset Police has joined forces with Hampshire Police, British Transport Police and South West Trains to target those who often travel from the Bournemouth area to Christchurch and New Milton reportedly committing thefts and burglaries.

Officers used a combination of ticket enforcement, plain-clothed officers and high-visibility patrols on trains and at railway stations between Bournemouth and New Milton, and also in town centres.

Police assisted South West Trains Rail Community Officers and Revenue Inspectors with ticket inspections and also used stop and search powers. Fines were issued to those individuals not carrying a valid train ticket. A Hampshire Police drugs dog assisted police at New Milton train station.

A 21-year-old man from Eastleigh was issued with a cannabis street warning.

Fifteen penalty notices were issued by ticket inspectors and seven people were reported for summons for ticket offences.

Police Constable Matt Leeding, who led the operation on behalf of Dorset Police, said: "Intelligence suggests that suspects board trains from the Bournemouth area – usually without a valid train ticket – and get off at New Milton and Christchurch to commit shoplifting, thefts and burglaries as there is a perception those areas are easy targets.

“Our message to anyone operating in this manner is that the police will not tolerate this behaviour and will continue to use methods of both prevention and enforcement in order to disrupt their activities.”

Hampshire's lead officer, Police Constable Arron Wood, said: “This operation was set up by the New Milton Neighbourhoods and Prevention Team after an increase at the beginning of the year of shoplifting in New Milton. After liaising with colleagues at Christchurch Neighbourhood Policing Team, we became aware that both towns had similar issues.

"Cross-border working between forces allows us to share information and work together in order to disturb and prevent criminal activity.”

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