CUMBRIA Police officers arrested two men yesterday (25 May) as part of an operation targeting stolen vehicles being brought into the county ahead of Appleby Horse Fair.

Officers first recovered a Toyota Hilux pick-up truck in the Brough area which they suspected was stolen from the Essex area.

A 27-year-old man from the Kent area was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of an offensive weapon.

He has since been released on police bail with conditions not to re-enter Cumbria.

Officers then attended Powis Lane in the Long Marton area where they recovered four caravans suspected of having been stolen. Three of the caravans are believed to belong to owners in the south of England, whilst the fourth is believed to belong to someone in Wales. Work is on-going to contact the owners.

As well as recovering the vehicles, a 38-year-old man from the Kent area was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. He remains in police custody this morning.

Further work was carried out in the South Lakes area yesterday where police officers took action regarding an unauthorised encampment at a field in Kirkby Lonsdale.

Those on the field were given a direction to leave and moved on under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994 powers.

A total of 13 caravans and vehicles were moved on as a result of the action taken.

Superintendent Dan St Quintin, Gold Commander for Appleby Horse Fair, said:

"As we head towards the 2024 Appleby Horse Fair, officers are working to identify and take enforcement action against the minority who either come to the county intent on committing offences or come here after committing offences elsewhere. This will enable the vast majority of people coming to the Fair who are law-abiding to enjoy it.

"The enforcement action taken yesterday was significant but will by no means be the last. Where there is evidence of criminality, officers will be swift in making arrests and recovering property."