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Poachers sent packing from North Yorkshire farmland by police

Last modified: 29 September 2020 at 02:45pm

Three suspected poachers have been kicked out of North Yorkshire and face a day in court after they were interrupted by police.

Police were called just after 5pm on Monday 28 September 2020, with a report of suspected poaching on land north of Bedale, just off the A1(M).

Officers from North Yorkshire Police’s specialist Rural Taskforce arrived at the scene within minutes, and encountered three men with dogs walking across private farmland.

Police vehicle arrives to deal with suspected poachers near Bedale

The three men, all in their 30s and from outside North Yorkshire, were interviewed and reported for summons for hunting with dogs.

In addition, they were issued with a dispersal notice, requiring them to leave North Yorkshire straight away, and not return for 48 hours or face being dealt with for a further offence.

Last month, the Rural Taskforce launched a campaign urging members of the public to report any suspicious activity in rural areas that could be linked to poaching, such as unusual vehicle movements or lights in darkness.

Under Operation Figaro, North Yorkshire Police will be robustly and proactively targeting poachers to put a stop to their illegal activity. The work runs alongside Operation Galileo, a national campaign bringing together forces particularly affected by poaching.

Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said officers understood the terrible impact of poaching on rural communities. He said: “Poachers often have no regard for farmers and landowners, causing thousands of pounds of damage to crops. Victims are often intimidated or even threatened with violence if they challenge offenders, leaving them feeling vulnerable to further crimes, particularly in isolated areas.”

On average, police are called to more than 50 incidents of suspected poaching in North Yorkshire every month. Incidents tend to increase significantly from August onwards, during and after harvest time.

Anyone caught poaching will be summonsed to court, while those stopped in suspicious circumstances will be issued with a community protection warning or a community protection notice – breaches of which will be prosecuted.

They are asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101 if it isn’t urgent – or 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress. This includes if poaching is taking place – it is a crime, and should be reported as such.

Posted on in News stories, Rural