Police are issuing a warning amidst concerns over illegal poaching activity.

Officers patrolling the Ribble Valley have said at this time of year they often see an increase in out-of-town visitors to the area, particularly in the evenings.

PC Carl Chew, who patrols in the Chipping area, said in the early hours of Saturday morning, two men from Wigan were spotted in the fields on the outskirts of Longridge.

They claimed to have lost their lurcher-type dog and appeared to be using a high-powered lamp to search for the animal.

PC Chew said: "The high powered lamp which they had brought with them had broken so they were really struggling until the police saw them and as if by magic the dog suddenly appeared.

"On this occasion the two males could not be prosecuted under poaching/hunting legislation.

"This type of offence is not high on everyone’s agenda but offenders linked to this type of crime often have links to other more serious criminal activity.

"One of the males did not get away scot-free, as he was in fact a shotgun certificate holder in Greater Manchester.

"He is now being investigated by GMP in relation to his suitability to hold a certificate."

If anyone suspects illegal poaching may be taking place in their area then they are advised to contact the police on 101 to report such activity.