POLICE arrested 169 people on suspicion of carrying knives and supplying drugs.

Officers patrolled trains, stations, and main roads in the South East to catch serious criminals in the act.

The three-day sting, from December 1-3, was a joint effort from Thames Valley Police, the British Transport Police and officers based in London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey.

More officers from the ‘Joint Intelligence Team’ also monitored ANPR cameras, which record car number plates, to quickly find and intercept vehicles that might have been used in a crime.

As a result, more than 150 people were arrested, 32 weapons were taken off the streets and 25 vehicles were seized.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Reading areas by weekly cases

Two stolen cars and a stolen plant machinery were also recovered.

Reading Chronicle: 169 people arrested in three-day sting with other forces across South East 169 people arrested in three-day sting with other forces across South East

Superintendent Amy Clements, who led the operation, said: “This has been a really successful operation. We know that many organised offenders use the major road and rail networks across the South East of the country to travel between different force areas and commit crimes.

“It has been really beneficial for all of the forces involved in this operation to build on existing relationships to work together to combat offenders who work to exploit victims across the region.

READ ALSO: Covid-19 among staff sees Reading's John Madejski Academy close

“Our teams patrolled the road and rail networks and used intelligence including ANPR cameras to identify those who we believe have been committing criminal offences and crossing police force borders in an attempt to evade capture.

“Let me be clear, this sort of organised criminal activity is not tolerated and offenders should know that police forces work together to disrupt them and to prevent them from disrupting our communities. We will continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities.”

The force said that tip-offs about serious crimes are ‘vital’ in ‘identifying’ and ‘intercepting’ and have urged anybody that notices ‘something that doesn’t look right’ to call 101.