A new initiative to tackle the scourge of poaching is being launched by a strategic group including police, shooting interests and landowners.
Project Trespass, which is designed to provide a co-ordinated response to incidents of poaching, will be unveiled on Tuesday by the England and Wales Poaching Priority Delivery Group.
The organisation includes the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) which is lead by Detective Inspector Nevin Hunter who is on secondment from Devon and Cornwall Police.
Earlier this year he warned that a £5 million black market for venison was driving a renaissance of poaching with criminals targeting the West Country's wildlife, including the iconic red deer of Exmoor.
Det Insp Hunter said tackling poaching, which increases across England and Wales during late autumn following the harvest and as the hours of darkness lengthen, is one of the UK's wildlife crime priorities.
He said: "Poaching is a criminal activity – all poachers are trespassers and analysis by the NWCU over the past two years shows that, given an opportunity, poachers have diversified into thefts, burglaries, assaults and other rural crimes.
Many police forces are developing rural crime strategies where the tackling of all wildlife crime and particularly poaching is a priority. Project Trespass will help in the effort to coordinate intelligence and responses to reports of crime." More....