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Warning shots over poaching in East Lancashire
5:00pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in News
WARNING letters have been sent to around 100 suspected poachers in the Ribble Valley.
Police have been working with game-keepers, residents and park wardens to identify those suspected of poaching and to warn them that they may face prosecution.
The scheme, named Operation Sika, includes cooperation from the Environment Agency, the British Association for Shooting and Con-servation, land owners and farmers, and has been running for four years.
Also working with police was Slaidburn, Newton and Bowland ward councillor Rosie Elms, who said all rural areas were affected by poaching at different times of the year, with pheasants being particular targets in the run up to Christmas.
She said: “It is a brilliant scheme. It is working very, very well and we are seeing results.”
Coun Elms said that deer, rabbits and salmon in the Hodder and Ribble Rivers were also frequent targets.
PC Carl Chew said police had seen a decrease in reported incidents over the last few years, which he put down to increased patrols.
He said: “The crops have been late this year due to the weather, but now they have been gathered we may start to see an increase in poaching. Also the rivers in our area are well stocked with salmon and sea trout and we have had reports of illegal netting.
“The ‘anti poaching’ letters highlight the action that will be taken against anyone caught poaching and the serious consequences they face by being part of this organised crime.
“We take a tough stance on rural crime and through working closely with our partners have created a database of intelligence against suspected rural crime offenders.” Anyone who has any information about rural crime should call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.