By Michael Morrison
Poachers operating across the Ribble Valley will be targeted as part of a crackdown on rural crime.
Operation Firecrest was launched after 12 poaching incidents were reported since May.
Over the last few weeks, police have seen incidents relating to the large amount of wild deer, hares and rabbits in the area.
Around three weeks ago, the butchered carcass of a deer was found near Bolton by Bowland. The deer appeared to have been shot and butchered at the scene before being hidden to be collected at a later time.
Ribble Valley Wildlife Crime officer PC Carl Chew sent out over 20 anti-poaching letters to people suspected of poaching within the Ribble Valley.
He said: “When we stop people, as we did in the early hours of Saturday morning, and a vehicle was found to contain hunting dogs and animal blood, this arouses suspicion.
“In this case, no game was found, but this is common for this type of crime as it will often be left to be collected the next day, so the offenders are not caught red-handed as they risk prosecution plus the loss of vehicles, equipment and dogs.” More....