The stark reality of the horror of poaching

An image of four deer killed by poachers has been released by police as they appeal for people to continue to report suspicious behaviour.

By Paul Larkin
Saturday, 21st August 2021, 11:21 pm
Four deer killed by poachers in a picture released by Northumbria Police’s Rural Crime Team.
Four deer killed by poachers in a picture released by Northumbria Police’s Rural Crime Team.

And they claim a collaboration between the community and Northumbria Police’s Rural Crime Team is making it harder than ever to poach in Northumberland.

Inspector Garry Neill said: “Sadly, it’s not uncommon for our rural communities to come across sights such as that picture but we are working to change that and are committed to tackling poaching.

“Poaching can take a number of forms and can include the use of dogs to indiscriminately kill wildlife, often for betting purposes.

“Our specially trained Rural Crime Volunteers – members of the community who share a passion for the countryside – are working together with officers to share intelligence, from CCTV to the number plates of suspicious vehicles.”

In 2020, police seized 40 vehicles linked to poaching, issued 24 Poaching Disruption Notices and eight Community Protection Warning Notices (CPWN), which set out certain conditions which must be adhered to.

Last Saturday, following intelligence from a Rural Crime Volunteer, CPWN’s were served on two suspected poachers seen in the Bywell area.

The CPWN remains in place for 12 months and means the recipient must comply with the following:

*Must not drive a motor vehicle on any road other than a public road or car park, unless written permission has been given by the landowner.

*Must not allow any dog in their ownership from straying on to private land – dogs must also be microchipped.

*Dogs must be kept under control and have a collar featuring owner’s name and address.

*If you have permission to undertake the hunting of wild mammals with a dog under an exemption provided by the Hunting Act 2004 on any land within the North East area you must ensure you have written permission with you.

Anyone caught breaching the warning notice risks having their vehicle, equipment and even dogs seized as well as large fines.

Inspector Neill added: “Our rural volunteers and the wider community really are our eyes and ears and by working with officers and reporting suspicious activity, together we can make a difference.”

If you see something suspicious and suspect poaching could be taking place, call 101 and provide a location and description of vehicle or number plate.