The modern day ‘poacher’ is not in the pursuit to feed their family. They used to drive across my crops night after night, destroying hedges, destroying gates and anything else that came into their path. They did so under the cover of darkness, their acts shielded by the remoteness of the farm. My fields had become a playground for the most barbaric and pointless crimes where they would film their activities, sharing them live to others who would be betting on the outcome – what dog will get the kill? How long will it take? Who will get the deer with the biggest antlers?
It wasn’t just about the economic loss. It was truly barbaric how some of these animals were killed. When it was at its worse, in my frustration, I blamed the authorities and felt helpless.
That’s when I turned to the Police and worked with the Rural Crime Team. Together we discussed a plan where we could both work together to stop this. I learnt what to look for, what to use to gather evidence and what crime preventative measures I could put in place. The very nature of what we were dealing with meant I wasn’t going to solve this alone and needed not only the help of the police but that of my neighbours and very quickly a positive momentum picked up in my area and together land managers, land owners, farm staff, game keepers & other rural business’s were reporting in suspicious vehicles and anything related to rural crime in the area. Together we are working together for a better and safer future.
Everyone has a part to play and whilst it was not obvious to me at the start, I soon learnt it was me, and others like me, whilst working with the police that could make the difference. If you are a victim of rural crime then report it, no matter how irrelevant you might think it is, it could just be the missing piece of a bigger puzzle”