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New operation to target poaching in Derbyshire

An operation is being launched by police to target deer coursing and poaching across the county. 

These crimes are generally illegal activity where dogs catch their prey by speed and sight, as opposed to scent. 

Sgt Chris Wilkinson said: “We see a number of incidents where deer are being targeted ‘for fun’ in Derbyshire. 

“It’s a disgusting and frankly barbaric crime that’s not only dangerous to animals, but also potentially to the public too. Criminals will often drive dangerously in public spaces and use their vehicles to drive across fields, releasing dogs from moving vehicles.  

“There are also instances of criminal damage to fences and gates. The people committing this crime are often part of a much wider criminal fraternity responsible for agricultural thefts and other rural crimes.” 

Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster is backing the operation.

She said: “I am fully behind any proactive enforcement that disrupts these cruel crimes and prevents land and livelihoods being damaged in the process." 

If you know of illegal activity and would like to report suspicious activity or rural crime, you can do so by calling 101, through the police website or by sending a private or direct message via social media. 

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