Dorset Police led a crackdown on rural crime in a cross-border operation.

A team of 30 Special Constables from Dorset Police, Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Constabulary patrolled 500 square miles of the rural area between Warminster in Wiltshire and Christchurch in the east of Dorset.

Villages and towns around Mere, Shaftesbury, Blandford, Wimborne, Verwood, Fordingbridge, Ringwood and Brockenhurst were all included in the patrol route.

The operation, led by Dorset Police’s Special Constabulary, involved proactive patrols in communities that have been targeted by criminals committing crime such as burglaries and rural thefts.

Officers carried out stop checks of vehicles travelling in the areas and paid particular attention to those who are known to carry out this type of crime. Special Sergeant Ben Muspratt, of Dorset Police, said: “Building on the success of the first Operation Seashell held in April, 2014 along with Wiltshire Police, I set around swiftly planning the second to include Hampshire Constabulary also.

“It is very clear that this high visibility operation has had a positive impact on the community.

“It has demonstrated to residents that all three forces are committed to tackling rural crime.

“Over 200 person and vehicle checks were conducted which sent out a very clear message to criminals that we will not tolerate such activity.

“At the start of the shift officers located and stopped three known offenders entering private land.”