Home > News > News stories > Borderwatch volunteers’ vigilance snares wildlife criminals

Borderwatch volunteers’ vigilance snares wildlife criminals

Posted on in News stories

Two men have been convicted of poaching after a vigilant Borderwatch patrol spotted lamping activity and called the police.

On Saturday 3 January 2015, Borderwatch volunteers attended land near East Cowton and witnessed lamping in various fields belonging to different landowners.

Two men were seen leaving one of the fields with lurcher-type dogs and a powerful lamp and battery. The Borderwatch patrol noted details of their vehicle and contacted North Yorkshire Police.

At Northallerton Magistrates Court on 13 February, Richard Tunstall, 27, of Brignall Moor Crescent, Darlington, and Christopher Parsons, 26, of Minster Walk, Hurworth, Darlington, both pleaded guilty to entering land as a trespasser at night with poaching equipment.

They were each fined £115, ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20. In addition, the court ordered that their lamping light and battery pack were to be destroyed.

PC John Wilbor, Wildlife Crime Officer for the Richmond Rural area, said: “In this instance the early sighting and report by the Borderwatch patrol allowed us to gather compelling evidence to convict these two poachers.

“This prosecution once again shows the value of support from the local community and Borderwatch volunteers in the fight against rural and wildlife crime – and it sends a strong message that we will deal robustly with criminals who travel to our area to commit such crime.”

PC Wilbor was named Wildlife Enforcer of the Year by the WWF in 2013. At the time, Heather Sohl, chief advisor on species at WWF UK, said: “WWF is hugely grateful to enforcement officers who dedicate so much time and energy to combating wildlife crime. John’s community engagement work is truly impressive and I hope others are inspired to tackle wildlife crime in the same way. We need officers like John to galvanise community support in the fight against wildlife crime.”

Last month a man was fined for hare coursing near Melsonby. Again, local residents’ vigilance was crucial to the conviction: http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/15025

To find out more about how North Yorkshire Police’s Wildlife Crime Officers tackle rural crime, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/wildlifecrime. For comprehensive rural crime prevention advice see www.northyorkshire.police.uk/ruralcrime.

Residents in rural areas are invited to join a Watch scheme to help us in the fight against countryside crime. For more information, call 101, select option 2, and ask for your local police station.

Last modified: June 13, 2018