Police crackdown on rural offences and poaching

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Police joined forces with gamekeepers, animal and environmental officers for a ‘night of action’ to target poachers and suspected offenders of rural crime.

Over 25 people, including local wildlife officers, land owners, Environment Agency fisheries officers, gamekeepers, the Forestry Commission and North West Badger Group were involved in the crackdown.

Reservoirs, lakes and rivers around the Longridge area were targeted during the high visibility patrol with a number of people reported for poaching and licensing offences.

Wildlife officer PC Carl Chew said the fight against rural crime remained a priority.

“The most common type of offences in our rural communities include fuel, scrap metal and vehicle or plant theft, burglary of homes and outbuildings, and offences like poaching and hare coursing,” he said.

As part of the week long operation officers have conducted extra patrols, targeting suspected offenders and making visits to farms and rural businesses to offer crime prevention advice.

PC Chew added: “Numerous vehicles and people were stopped during this operation, with a number of people being reported for offences from motoring to rod licencing.

“Crime affecting the rural communities shouldn’t be under-estimated. Criminals, sometimes in organised groups, generally target isolated areas and hard-to-protect buildings/premises, looking for easily saleable items like metal and garden equipment, as well as targeting quad bikes, 4x4 vehicles, agricultural machinery and livestock.

“I hope our activity, and that of our partner agencies, will send out a clear message to offenders that rural crime won’t be tolerated.”