A teenager has been arrested after a dead deer and fawn were discovered in the back of a vehicle during an anti-poaching crackdown in Devon.
Officers used the cover of darkness to approach the alleged culprit after being alerted that there was poaching going on in the area.
They found the dead animals inside a vehicle parked near the village of Spreacombe – which police seized for forensic examinations.
Following an extensive search of the area, a 17-year-old was arrested and interviewed by police.
Police Inspector Roger Bartlett said the operation as ongoing.
“While it is not easy to secure convictions with poaching offences, those involved need to know that we take such criminality very seriously and will pursue them whenever we have the opportunity to do so,” he said.
“We only have to be lucky once and when we are, they need to understand that they are very likely to have assets seized, firearms licences revoked and will be brought to justice through the courts.”
Police recently embarked on a campaign to increase anti-poaching patrols and visit those involved in the use of firearms on Exmoor and across North Devon.
The police advised landowners to ensure they only give permission to reputable marksmen to shoot on their land and that they provide this permission in writing.
Marksmen have been warned they should then always carry the written permission with them when stalking prey.
Inspector Bartlett said the arrest was on December 20 and the anti-poaching operation would continue.
“Poaching is big business and involves the use of firearms by people who are often trespassing and who often cause threats and intimidation to local people.
“This is a priority for local communities and that is why we will do all we can to counter this activity.”
Anyone with information in relation to the Spreacombe incident can contact PC Martin Beck via 101, quoting crime reference number CR/132000/14.