Poaching patrols catch out Covid rulebreakers who claimed they were at petrol station to buy a dog

Three men have been left to pay £200 Covid fines after they travelled from their County Durham homes to North Yorkshire.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 2:23 pm
Updated Friday, 29th January 2021, 2:36 pm

Officers caught out the man from Peterlee and two others from Spennymoor after they were carrying out patrols and had been called with a report a blue Subaru Impreza was involved in poaching activity in the rural Bedale area.

North Yorkshire Police officers attended immediately, and – thanks to information provided by the caller – were able to locate and stop a car a short time later, in Catterick Garrison.

The men, who were found with a number of lurcher dogs inside the vehicle, told police they had come from County Durham to North Yorkshire to buy a dog at a service station.

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North Yorkshire Police issued the £200 fines to three County Durham men who breached the lockdown rules by visiting the county.

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All three were reported for breaching Covid-19 regulations, and issued with a dispersal order requiring them to leave the Hambleton and Richmondshire areas immediately.

Officers followed them to the border to ensure they did so.

About 80% of the county’s poaching incidents take place between September and February.

Even if poachers are not stopped at the time, they can expect to receive formal community protection notices – breaches of which will be prosecuted.

Inspectore Matt Hagen, from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Far from being a victimless crime, poachers cause misery and fear in rural communities.

“They have no regard for farmers, and their disgraceful actions damage valuable crops as well as wildlife. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this criminality is even more unacceptable.”

The incident happened about 10am on Sunday, January 24.

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