Warning issued after spate of illegal poaching activity

POLICE are warning individuals in the Lancashire and South Cumbria borders of the consequences of illegal poaching after a spate of criminal activity in the past few weeks.

Officers have dealt with a number of incidents of illegal poaching in the Hale, Leighton and Warton areas.

It is believed that a group may be using high powered lamps, dogs and firearms to hunt and shoot deer in the area.

PC Andrew Massingham Lancashire Police Wildlife Officer said: “Wildlife crime and issues such as deer poaching are just as serious as other crimes and it tends to be committed by serious and organised crime groups who profit from the sale of carcasses and venison meat.

“This is not humane and these individuals are carrying out indiscriminate slaughter on a commercial scale with deer being taken regardless of species, sex or season, where they have no permission or authority to do so.

“We are committed to tackling rural crime and our wildlife officers will continue to work closely with the community, local landowners, legitimate deer stalkers and other agencies such as the British Deer Association to stop the poaching and bring those responsible to justice.

“Anyone caught poaching illegally should be warned that they could be prosecuted.

“We are urging anyone that sees any suspicious activity or has any information that could help us with our enquiries, to get in touch with police on 101 as soon as possible.”

Officers have already made three arrests in connection will illegal poaching activity. A 24 year old man from Carnforth, a 46 year old man from Preston and a 50 year old man from Preston have been bailed until January 2015.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Photo taken by Jim Wyllie 2014