Officers investigating animal deaths in Northumberland advise the public how they can help stop poachers in their tracks
18 Oct | 10:44

Officers in Northumberland are investigating the deaths of three sheep at a farm near Matfen.

The injuries were so severe that two sheep died at the scene and one had to be put down by a vet.

Early enquiries lead to suspected poachers and now officers are issuing advice around how the public can help police stop poaching and bring any offenders before a court.

Wildlife Officer Lee Davison, of Northumbria Police said: “It is really important to call the police if you see anything suspicious. This information not only assists the attending officer so they know what they are looking for but it also helps us gather evidence and progress investigations.

“The most obvious sign is a group of vehicles parked in a rural area - by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, farm track or bridle path.

“Other useful information is descriptions of suspects, including how many and any accents, as this will help determine the areas the suspects maybe travelling from.

“Try and recall anything said and write it down as soon as possible, as well as what they’re wearing and if they have any dogs with them.

“What we also find really useful is vehicle information, so things like direction of travel, registrations as well as the make and model of the vehicle and any noticeable damage to it.

“If you find anything that may be evidence, such as tyre marks, foot prints or blood, then take a photo and try to preserve it by covering it with a plastic bag or sheet until officers arrive.

“Remember all information is potentially important as even the smallest detail could match with someone else’s report and help build a case against a suspected offender.

“All of this helps us to respond effectively and efficiently to incidents and gives officers the best chance of identifying suspects and making arrests.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious or has any information about illegal poaching is asked to contact police via 101.

Please try to give an accurate description of what you know including any locations. The What3Words app can be used to narrow down locations and help officers locate the incident quicker. The app can be downloaded here:

Anyone who may have information about this incident is also asked to contact officers and quote reference number 657 09/10/19.

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