EFFORTS to tackle poachers are being stepped up.
Sgt Andy Williams, from the Country Watch team, said patrols are being increased in a bid to stop hare coursing and other rural crimes.
It comes as a spike in crime is expected in late autumn with the cutting of crops and more hours of darkness.
Sgt Williams said: ‘Illegal activities such as poaching and hare coursing have a knock-on effect for landowners and gamekeepers. Their livelihoods are disrupted and thousands of pounds are lost from the local economy.
‘Poachers aren’t the old fashioned ‘one for the pot’ characters seen in fiction. They are nearly always associated with other criminality, including rural burglaries, thefts and damage to property.’
He said: ‘Our powers include the seizure of dogs, equipment and even vehicles used in poaching and other illegal activity.’
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