Stoke & Staffordshire

'Poacher Watch' launched at Cannock Chase

A scheme to try to stop poaching around the Cannock Chase area of Staffordshire has been launched.

Faye Burton from the Rural Policing Liaison unit said there has been a significant increase in deer, hare and wild bird poaching in recent years.

Farmers and gamekeepers can sign up to Poacher Watch, as it is known, which gives details of poaching signs to look out for.

They are given contact numbers to make police aware of anything suspicious.

Ms Burton said the scheme worked in a similar way to neighbourhood watch.

"People in the countryside, or members of rural organisations, who see anything going on can ring police, give them information such as registration numbers, and police will run immediate checks," she said.

Paul Pike, a ranger at Cannock Chase, a 26 sq mile area of mainly dense woodland, said the problem was that the Chase was very accessible.

"We have people travelling from all over the country to pick the deer off the Chase," he said.

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