Police have seized more than £5 million of assets from criminals using Yorkshire’s road network.

The Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Roads Policing Team was set up in July, 2008, to deny criminals the use of the region’s roads and stopping offenders crossing force boundaries to commit crime.

Between September, 2008, and last month, the team have arrested 681 people and recovered stolen vehicles valued at more than £1.5m, as well as almost £700,000 of stolen property.

The 16-month period also saw seizures of more than £900,000 of drugs, as well as assets valued at more than £500,000, £348,590 cash and vehicles valued at a total of almost £1m.

Regional Roads Policing Commander, Chief Inspector Mick Hunter, said: “The Regional Roads Policing Team have been working hard in support of local neighbourhoods by arresting criminals, searching their houses, taking their cars and seizing their ill-gotten gains.

“Our aim has been to make it uncomfortable for the criminals. They will no longer be able to transcend force boundaries to get away with committing crime.”

The team, which is made up of officers from North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside police, is part of attempts to increase joint working between the four forces to boost efficiency and cut costs.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable for Yorkshire and the Humber, Mark Whyman, said: “The Regional Roads Policing Team has effectively demonstrated some of the benefits of working across force boundaries.

"As criminals become more mobile and exploit technology, we are working together to utilise innovative technology and specialist skills.

“This is £5m taken from criminal activity that makes sure crime doesn’t pay. My job is to promote the benefits of collaboration, command regional operations, and deliver value for money to the four forces of Yorkshire and the Humber, which represents about ten per cent of UK policing.

“The forces and authorities of Yorkshire and the Humber are committed to meeting the challenges of the 21st century in a cost-effective way.”