Northumbria Police issue warning to would-be poachers

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Northumbria Police’s rural crime team has warned poachers to beware.

With the harvest season underway, reports of hare coursing, poaching and suspicious vehicles are starting to be reported.

The force is currently receiving more reports than ever before thanks to a network of dedicated rural crime volunteers.

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The 51 volunteers come from all walks of life, including retired vets and working farmers, and act as eyes and ears for the police.

Northumbria Police's rural crime team.Northumbria Police's rural crime team.
Northumbria Police's rural crime team.

Sergeant Ian Pattison, who leads the rural crime team, said: “Poaching isn’t just taking one for the pot, but is the use of dogs to indiscriminately kill wildlife, often for betting purposes as well as on occasions damaging fields and fences with vehicles.

“More often than not poachers don’t just leave with one catch but leave a trail of destruction in their wake after they’ve selfishly driven their vehicles over land with no regard for the landowners.

“Poaching can also often be used as an excuse to be on land – when the reality is that people are scoping the area.”

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He added: “But my warning to poachers is to beware – the country-side is better connected than ever before and neighbours are working together with officers to share intelligence and enable Police to target offenders.

“They’re also working together to share tips and methods to protect and secure their land.

“This collaboration between community and cops is making it harder than ever to poach in Northumberland and if you’re caught you risk having your vehicle, equipment and even dogs seized as well as large fines.”

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