PEOPLE who are spotted potentially poaching in Lancashire are to receive letters warning them they are being watched by police.
Officers are encouraging people to report any suspicious activity in rural areas to crack down on poaching and other associated crime, such as theft of farming equipment.
Vehicle number plates noted by residents, police officers or other partner agencies such as council park wardens, will result in the registered owner receiving a letter explaining that if they are involved in poaching activity then they risk having any equipment – including their dogs – seized and they could face prosecution.
Lancashire Constabulary’s wildlife officer Mark Thomas said: “When we receive information about suspicious vehicles, we will be contacting owners so they are aware their vehicle was reported to us. If they were going about legitimate business, we hope this will reassure them the police are working to keep Lancashire safe so their visit to the area was without event.
“However, if they were in the area to poach or commit other crimes, the letter will be a warning they are being watched and Lancashire does not welcome criminals.
“We regularly work with our neighbouring forces in Merseyside and Cumbria to prevent criminals travelling across borders to commit crime in rural areas and use text schemes, such as FarmWatch, in more remote areas to send information out to residents so that they can take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime.” Information can be given to police on 0845 1 25 35 45, or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.