Rural poachers in police sights

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FARMERS in Harworth have joined forces with police on a new crackdown to tackle poaching in the countryside.

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Police have launched an operation to reduce crime and poaching against farmers and landowners across both counties and part of the focus is on farmland near the border with Doncaster.

Officers have been working with residents and gathering intelligence in rural areas, including Harworth, Newark and Ollerton.

Beat manager PC Jason Crofts, who has been involved in the operation, said: “Poaching is big business and it’s on the increase, particularly with the deer herds in the area - we are no longer talking about a couple of rabbits for the pot.

“Farmers and land owners are also suffering fuel thefts from diesel tanks and vehicles, thefts of farm machinery, metals and pumps as well as damage to land and crops by vehicles.

“What is often seen just as off-roading is very often someone scouting for potential easy targets.

“Derbyshire Police initially launched an operation to tackle the problem, but it quickly grew to include police officers from Nottinghamshire.

“We are looking at a massive area and the farmers and land owners are heavily involved in the operation. They are our eyes and ears and we act on the information passed to us by them and the public.”

The ongoing operation is also being carried out in partnership with the British Transport Police officers, who investigate cable thefts.

PC Crofts said: “We are sharing information and resources across police boundaries, and we need more information from farmers and landowners because there are still those who do not bother to report what are sometimes seen as trivial incidents.

“We need people to let us know if they are having similar problems so that we can arrest those responsible.”

Anyone with information should contact Nottinghamshire Police on 0300 300 99 99 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.