News Release

Man arrested on suspicion of poaching

Dated: 02 Feb 2012

A Police van parked in the countryside

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of poaching in Morpeth.

At 2:25am on Saturday, January 28, officers were patrolling in the Stannington area, when they came across a 4x4 parked by the side of the road.

Officers stopped and spoke to the driver of the vehicle - who was stood to the rear of the 4x4 and had blood on his hands. When they checked further the bodies of two young deer were found next to the vehicle having been gutted.

Officers arrested a 37-year-old Ashington man and seized the vehicle and a firearm.

The man has been bailed pending further enquiries. A second man made off from police at the scene and enquiries are continuing to trace him.

Northumberland wildlife crime officer, PC Mick Leybourne said:  "We take poaching very seriously and work with local gamekeepers and farmer to target illegal poachers.

"We run a number of operations across Northumberland where we pro-actively look for and target those involved in poaching and have them stopped.

"Poachers no longer seem content with lamping for rabbit and hare. Deer are now top of their list and they go to great lengths to kill them using firearms and dogs.

"We have excellent links with farmers and gamekeepers and would encourage them to continue to report similar incidents to us."

Those found to be poaching can face having their vehicle and firearms seized from them under the Night Poaching Act.