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Op Gamekeeper set to launch to target deer coursing and poaching in Derbyshire

A new operation set to target deer coursing and poaching will launch in Derbyshire in the coming weeks.

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

As part of Rural Crime Week, Op Gamekeeper has been launched to target this across the county.

Sgt Chris Wilkinson who will lead on the operation, 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 Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “Our rural communities are concerned about wildlife crime and the impact these activities have on their land and property. They want to see robust action against those who flout the law and to know officers trained in such matters are working hard to prevent further offences.

“Tackling rural crime is a key priority for me and I am fully behind any proactive enforcement that disrupts these cruel crimes and prevents land and livelihoods being damaged in the process.”

Derbyshire is a county full of rural areas, and this crime could happen anywhere.

If you know of illegal activity and would like to report suspicious activity or rural crime, you can do so in the following ways:

You can also follow the work of the @Derbyshire Rural Crime team on Facebook, and on Twitter: @DerbyshireRCT.

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