Poachers and other rural criminals have been sent a strong message, after a string of successes for North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce.
A proactive response to reports from vigilant members of the public has seen several groups of suspected poachers disrupted, and their vehicles seized.
Officers are urging members of the public to continue to call them with information about suspicious activity in isolated areas, so that police can keep up the pressure on rural crime.
Poaching-related incidents dealt with in the north of the county this month include:
At about 1.30pm on 9 November police were called to reports of men behaving suspiciously on land at Morton on Swale. Officers from the local police team and the Rural Taskforce attended, and were on the scene within ten minutes. Two men from Darlington were reported for summons for criminal damage and hunting offences, and a VW Golf which had caused damage to crops was seized. [with pic]
On 12 November Rural Taskforce officers located a Land Rover stuck in mud on farmland near Sowerby. The vehicle was seized as it had caused a significant amount of damage to the field. The investigation is ongoing. [with pic]
On 13 November at about 7.40am, police received a report of a number of men and dogs chasing hares on land near Middleton Tyas. Officers were quickly on the scene, and five men from the Durham area were stopped and searched, and subsequently reported for summons for poaching. A Subaru Forester was seized.
At about 11am on 13 November, a member of the public reported suspected poaching on land near Great Smeaton. Although officers responded immediately, on this occasion the suspects had left the area. However, details of a suspicious vehicle were recorded, and the investigation is ongoing.
At about 1pm on 13 November, an officer from the Rural Taskforce stopped a vehicle suspected of having been involved in poaching near Great Ayton. Six men were spoken to and a Subaru Legacy was seized by police. Enquiries are ongoing.
At about 8.30pm on 15 November a Rural Taskforce officer stopped a VW Passat north of Great Ayton, near the border with Cleveland, and spoke to the driver who is known for rural crime offences. The vehicle was seized as it had been registered as off the road.
Sgt Kevin Kelly, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said:
Our proactive response to incidents over the last few weeks has had excellent results. People travelling to our area to commit crime are starting to get the message – they are not welcome here, the police will find them and take action against them. More often than not, they will find themselves facing a long walk home, and a day in court.
Our rural communities can be reassured that reports of poaching and suspicious activity will be taken extremely seriously, and dealt with swiftly and robustly. I would urge people who live or work in rural areas to continue to report such incidents to us, so we can keep up the pressure on criminals.
Report suspicious activity to North Yorkshire Police on 101, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.
North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce works proactively alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in our rural areas, and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of criminality. You can meet members of the Taskforce at community events throughout the year, including markets, auctions and shows. You can also follow the team’s work on Twitter at @NYPRuralTF or via the North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force Facebook page.