Suspected poachers issued with fine after volunteers spot suspicious vehicle

Suspected poachers left Richmondshire with an untaxed vehicle fine after being spotted by local residents.

At about 9am on Saturday, members of a North Yorkshire Police Rural Watch group contacted their local police officer after seeing a suspicious vehicle on land near Newton Morrell.

Officers responded and, about an hour later, located the vehicle, and two men with dogs, near Barton.

They were spoken to, and sent away having been reported for using an untaxed vehicle.

There were about 75 reports of poaching incidents in the Richmondshire area in the 12 months up to April 2020.

Tackling these offences is a national policing priority under the National Police Chiefs’ Council Rural Affairs and Wildlife Crime strategies.

Poachers typically hunt brown hare or deer.

In addition to being a wildlife crime, their illegal activity can cause extensive damage to crops, fields and fences, and leave farmers and landowners in fear of violence and retaliation.

Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Our officers, some of whom have farming backgrounds, know the terrible impact poaching can have on rural communities.

“We are working hand-in-hand with local communities.

“Reports of poaching will be taken extremely seriously, so poachers will find it very difficult to enter and leave North Yorkshire unchallenged.”

Residents are encouraged to note down and report any suspicious activity, such as unusual vehicle movements, particularly in remote or isolated areas.

Even if the information doesn’t need an immediate response, every piece of intelligence helps the police build up a picture and could prove vital in bring criminals to justice.

Call North Yorkshire Police on 101 if it’s not urgent – or 999 in an emergency or a crime is in progress. This includes if you witness poaching taking place – this is a crime, and should be reported as such.

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