GANG members using Barnsley’s arterial roads have been warned to expect more action days by police targeting cross-border crime rings.

More than 20 officers from each of the town’s six neighbourhood hubs came together on Saturday for Operation Voyager - an initiative which was born out of rising reports about criminals leaving the town and into West Yorkshire - and set up bases in several areas in the Thurgoland area.

Police targeted main routes in and out of the county, focusing on roads criminals are said to be using as part of their ongoing work to stamp out so-called ‘county lines’ crime.

County lines, a term used for crime associated with gangs crossing borders to expand their drug network, is said to have become a problem for police bosses.

“Drugs remain a priority as crime is generally caused by people on drugs or those in the supply network,” a police spokesman told the Chronicle. “We were tasked with looking at organised crime groups who are known to travel.

“We also target organised crime groups as we know they lead to other problems.

“Police are committed to tackling all forms of criminal exploitation, including county lines, through our ongoing work and activity.”

South and West Yorkshire forces are working together to combat county lines crime, with officers in both marked and unmarked vehicles patrolling on-the-border routes.

“We are currently monitoring a small number of organised crime groups whose activity centres around county lines and regularly hold review meetings to co-ordinate our response with neighbouring forces,” the spokesman added.

“The effect on communities and the individuals caught up can be devastating.

“It’s something we are aware of and have been taking action to combat for some time.

“Much of it, however, has been covert.

“We would urge anyone with information or concerns to contact the police or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

Copster Lane - identified as Barnsley’s worst-hit road for accidents last year - was also the scene of an anti-speeding operation where nine motorists were caught breaking the limit on the action day.

Residents have been encouraged to report hotspots to the South Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership in the hope of securing better signage, including signs warning about speed cameras working in the area, which could be installed.

However, complaints have been received by the police that not enough is being done to combat long-running speeding concerns, resulting in the force receiving criticism following several deaths in Barnsley this year.

Inspector Jason Booth added: “We carry out regular patrols and operations to tackle various driving offences and will continue to do so, as one life taken is one too many.

“One of the key things is speeding, so we’ve been implementing things such as community-led speed watch schemes across Barnsley which has been a real success.”