Poachers warned by police following Chichester incident

A deer in the woods at Stansted. ks190175-5''Kate Shemilt
A deer in the woods at Stansted. ks190175-5''Kate Shemilt

Poachers have been warned by Sussex Police as a gun was heard to be discharged on private land in Chichester last week.

Police are hoping raise public awareness about poaching in rural areas.

In the last few years, police say they have worked 'very closely' with rural communities to 'great success' in the reduction of poaching of wild animals.

On Monday Spetember 16, officers were called to reports of a vehicle with high powered lights seen to be searching farm land in Bosham at 10.30pm.

A gun shot was then heard and police said the person did not have permission to be on the land.

Wildlife crime officer Daryl Holter said: “We would like to encourage anyone to contact us with any information that would help in catching poachers, especially if they have been offered meat from sources other than bona fide dealers”.

"I’d also like to send a warning to poachers themselves that we are working very closely with farm and land owners and in some cases even install CCTV to catch poachers. It will not be tolerated and we will do all we can to support anyone that this crime affects.”

A spokesman said: "Poaching is a secretive business, often carried out at night and in remote locations, but if caught, poachers can be prosecuted for a range of offences.

"Game dealers, restaurateurs, hotels and public houses are being advised to check that they are not buying illegally killed game.

"They can do this by not purchasing meat from unknown persons and reporting suspicious gatherings in car parks immediately; dealers in game should show legal documentation for the sale of meat."

Anyone who suspects illegal poaching is taking place, please call Sussex Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency, i.e. poaching is occurring in front of you there and then.

Alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.