Police across the Midlands and the North of England worked together this week to swoop on a suspected criminal gang involved in thefts from HGVs.

Derbyshire police said 11 men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft, document and driving offences.

The arrests took place in Derbyshire, as well as in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and West Yorkshire.

During the operation officers also recovered two HGVs which were believed to have been cloned and a lorry which was believed to have been stolen.

A number of other vehicles were also seized due to document, driving or traffic offences.

PC Johnathan Terry, who helped coordinate the operation in Derbyshire, said: “The aim of the operation was to deter crimes affecting freight on our roads with increased patrols in hot-spot areas such as lay-bys or parking areas on major routes through our county, while sharing information and existing intelligence to target travelling criminality.

“We find that because of our location, we do tend to see a lot of lorries stopping overnight, and while most do so without any issues, we do see an increased risk of HGVs being targeted for that reason.”

He added: “Working alongside other police forces in our region has helped us to achieve a successful operation to target crimes which not only has an impact on businesses, but for drivers who may fear being hurt and all of us who may see increased prices for goods and disruption to supply chains.”

Jamie Culverhouse, the Northamptonshire force lead for the operation, said: “This operation is a great example of what can be achieved as a region in the fight against crime and I am pleased that our real-time intelligence support resulted in these arrests and vehicle seizures.”