Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 10:59 UK

Deer poaching crime gangs tackled

Deer poaching training
Lancashire police said the problem has increased in the county

Police in Lancashire are being trained to tackle deer poaching.

The force is working with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation for the specialist work.

Lancashire Police's dedicated wildlife officer Duncan Thomas said deer poaching was a "significant problem" in the county.

Officers will be trained in what to look out for following an increase in the problem, particularly in the rural Ribble Valley area.

Mr Thomas said deer poaching was usually carried out by organised gangs.

"One of the key issues is that the criminal gangs engaged in this activity are highly mobile and operate across force boundaries," he said.

Mr Thomas added: "The local communities had highlighted this issue as a priority and there is evidence and intelligence to support this."

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