Lancashire police operation cracks down on deer poaching in county beauty spot

Police have a launched a crackdown on poaching in rural Lancashire.

Lancashire Police’s Ribble Valley Rural Task Force teamed up with North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force, the Environment Agency, and other partners, in a four-day operational crackdown on deer poaching in the Ribble Valley and its borders.

As many as 50,000 deer are believed to be killed by poachers every year in the UK, many for sport and with no use of the meat following a kill. Poaching incidents often involve other crimes, such as firearms offences and criminal damage to property and dogs. The Ribble Valley has a high population of deer, namely Sika and Roe deer, and incidents of poaching tend to increase around this time of year due to the darker nights and increase in demand for venison.

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PC Matt Hartup of Lancashire Police’s Ribble Valley Rural Task Force (left) with Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden. The task force joined forces with counterparts from North Yorkshire Police, the Environment Agency and other partners in a four-day crackdown on deer poaching in the Ribble Valley

PC Matt Hartup, from Ribble Valley Rural Task Force, said: “Deer poaching is an illegal sport and has a detrimental effect on the deer population and the farming communities around us.

“This fantastic piece of partnership working goes to show how closely we are listening to community concerns around their priorities, and are getting all the right people round the table to have the conversation and taking action. We will work tirelessly with partners, and neighbouring police forces to tackle the ongoing issue of poaching ensuring offenders, both opportunistic and repeat, understand the consequences of their actions and face justice”.

Anyone who has information regarding rural crime is encouraged to report it online at or via independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting