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The value of Borderwatch patrols has been highlighted after the successful prosecution of three poachers.
A 17-year-old youth from Darlington was ordered to pay £150 when he appeared before Northallerton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 9 June 2011, after being charged with trespassing at night with poaching equipment.
The other two men were given 12 month conditional discharges at an earlier hearing on 19 May 2011.
They were part of a group of men who were spotted by a volunteer Borderwatch patrol on land near Dalton-on-Tees in November 2010. The volunteers alerted officers who attended with back up from the Special Constabulary and a further Borderwatch patrol from Barton.
A coordinated search located a Mitsubishi L200 pickup complete with dog-cages parked outside a local farm. Police and Borderwatch members then spent two hours observing the men lamping across fields, heading south from Dalton-on-Tees along the A167.
The men trespassed on fields belonging to six different landowners before heading back to their vehicle, where they were met by police who found them to be in possession of dogs and lamps.
The lamps were seized and the men were reported for summons.
PC John Wilbor, of Richmond Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This case proves just how valuable the partnerships between the police and local people in rural communities can be.
“The Borderwatch volunteers are extremely dedicated and do a fantastic job, acting as our eyes and ears in remote areas of the county.
“Hopefully this result and the other good convictions we have had recently will send out a message to poachers that if they come to North Yorkshire to commit crime, there is a good chance that someone will see them and we will catch up with them.”
PC Wilbor also urged people living in rural areas to sign up to the Borderwatch scheme and help protect their land and property from countryside criminals.
He added: “The more people we have on board, the better. The more people we have looking out for suspicious activity and reporting it to the police, the more chance we have of protecting our rural communities from crime and catching those responsible.”
If you would like to reporting poaching in your area, or are interested in getting involved in the Borderwatch scheme, contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.
For more information about rural crime visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/farmwatch