POLICE officers from Dorset and Hampshire stepped up efforts to target criminals using the rail network to commit crime.

As part of their Op Swift initiative, officers focused on people coming to New Milton and Christchurch, as well as targeting criminal activity in the towns, including anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.

Officers spotted two males acting suspiciously when they boarded a train at Pokesdown.

They failed to produce tickets for their journey when requested by officers and after getting off at New Milton railway station, both men were searched and we found master keys for bike padlocks, mini bolt croppers and a screw driver were located, as well as a bag of white powder and front bike light. Both men were arrested and taken into police custody.

A 27-year-old man from Bognor Regis was arrested for going equipped for burglary, possess a knife blade in a public place, and possess a controlled drug of class A. He was questioned and released under investigation.

A 27-year-old man from Wolverhampton was arrested for going equipped for theft and handling stolen goods. Following a thorough investigation, he was released without charge. However, this man was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant and was detained and handed over to the appropriate authority.

The crime crackdown saw officers from Hampshire, Dorset and British Transport Police work together.

A Dorset Police team reportedly stopped a high value theft of beauty products in Christchurch town centre after officers spotted a suspicious male in the shop. Christchurch Police team reported that a shoplifted had been stopped with more than £600 of goods in his possession.

In New Milton, nine people were searched as they were suspected to be in possession of illegal substances.

A moped rider was arrested after testing positive for cannabis. It was reported his moped had no insurance, so it was seized.

Two young teenagers were found in possession of cannabis. The drugs were seized and the boys will be interviewed by police, an officer said.

A further teen who was suspected of drug dealing earlier in the day, was found and arrested for possession with intent to supply after cannabis was found on him. A search of his home address found just under £1,000 worth of the drug.

Inspector Mike Minnock said: “This was a really successful joint operation and that we regularly undertake in New Milton and Christchurch with our colleagues from Dorset and the British Transport Police.

“As a local police team, we are aware criminals do not recognise borders and often utilise transport networks to operate undetected. By working in partnership we can reduce these opportunities and protect our communities.

“It’s really important we work together to combat crime in the town centre, being visible and using our powers like stop and search means we can make New Milton safer and it sends a message to those intent on coming here to commit crime, that you’re not welcome.”