1. ITV Report

Police crackdown on deer poaching in Cumbria

Cumbria Police conducted vehicle spot checks as part of their crackdown on deer poachers Photo: PA

Cumbria Police joined the South Lakes Deer Management Group to target deer poaching hot spots and conduct vehicle spot checks as part of Operation Samurai.

Police say they've received 80 reports of deer poaching since the beginning of 2016, leading to four charges being made.

On Friday, 30 June, officers and volunteers targeted rural areas including Haverthwaite, where they conducted vehicle spot checks.

Deer poaching is still an issue for rural areas in Cumbria and I am grateful to all the volunteers who gave up their Friday night to help us tackle the problem together. Without their support, we would not be able to run these operations as effectively.

Operation Samurai has been taking place for a number of years now and helps us to gather intelligence, which enables us to prevent this terrible crime. We will continue to take action and poachers should be aware that we will not tolerate their criminality in Cumbria.

– PC Sarah Rolland, Wildlife Crime Officer in South Lakes
reports of deer poaching since beginning of 2016

The continuing use of despicably cruel methods by poachers is an affront to our native deer and to those people who live and work in the countryside where the deer are to be found.

We understand that deer numbers need to be controlled, to ensure a healthy and balanced deer population – but every time a poacher takes a deer without regard to age, gender of condition of the animal, that balance is much more difficult to achieve.

To combat this criminal activity it is essential that we all continue to work together to ensure these criminals are brought before the courts and dealt with appropriately.

– South Lakes Deer Management Group Spokesperson

Anyone with information about poaching can contact Cumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.