Four men are due in court after vigilant residents called police about suspected poaching on the outskirts of York.
Police were called just after midnight on Sunday (5 January), with a report that a group of men with lamps and dogs were in fields near Upper Poppleton.
Officers went straight there and searched the area.
At 1am, they located and spoke to four men, aged in their 20s and 30s. All four have been reported for summons for poaching offences.
Working with communities
Last year, North Yorkshire Police launched Operation Galileo – part of a nationwide clampdown on illegal poaching.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “We know that incidents of poaching tend to increase in the winter months. However, anyone thinking of coming to North Yorkshire to commit such offences should know that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Officers are working hand-in-hand with local communities, so we rely on residents to call in suspicious activity, and we take such reports extremely seriously.”
York vulnerable to poaching
In addition to being a wildlife crime, illegal poaching on farmland can cause significant damage to young crops, resulting in large financial losses for farmers.
Residents are encouraged to note down and report any suspicious activity, such as unusual vehicle movements, particularly in remote or isolated areas.
Even if the information doesn’t need an immediate response, every piece of intelligence helps the police build up a picture and could prove vital in bringing criminals to justice. Call North Yorkshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.