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Suspected drug driver arrested after eagle-eyed residents report poaching concerns

Last modified: 16 November 2020 at 04:56pm

Eagle-eyed Rural Watch volunteers have helped take a suspected drug driver off the roads of North Yorkshire.

Officers tracked down his Subaru Forester after residents reported concerns about poachers in the area.

At about 1.40am on Sunday 15 November, a vigilant Rural Watch member called in to North Yorkshire Police to report the suspicious Subaru on the A170 near the top of Sutton Bank. He said three men dressed in camouflage were inside the car, with a number of dogs.

Thanks to the caller’s information, officers from the Roads Policing Group were able to locate the car within minutes, and stop it as it travelled towards Thirsk.

The suspicious Subaru Forrester stopped by police

The driver, a 29-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of drug driving, after testing positive for cocaine at the roadside.

He was taken to custody and has since been released under investigation, pending forensic results, and police enquiries are continuing.

Rural Watch groups are made up of farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, rural business and estate owners, as well as anyone who lives or works in a rural area. They support North Yorkshire Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Rural Taskforce, acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police in the fight against countryside crime.

The groups communicate with each other via phone and WhatsApp, supported by North Yorkshire Police officers and PCSOs.

Rural Watch volunteers have also proved invaluable throughout the coronavirus pandemic, to reassure residents and businesses in isolated areas, and help officers and PCSOs engage with rural communities.

To find out more about Mobile Rural Watch, or to join a group, contact North Yorkshire Police and speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or Rural Taskforce officer.

Posted on in News stories, Rural