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Herefordshire's Poacherwatch recent successes

Community information, West Mercia Police

  • Incident number: N/A
  • Date: 16/11/2018
  • Sender: 60268
  • Business area name: Citizens in Policing

Recently, (Wednesday 7 - Friday 9 November), ten parties of poachers have been apprehended and dealt with by West Mercia Police (WMP).

During the activity numerous interviews have taken place and an air weapon has been seized. The activity comes as a result of information from the community, specifically an organised group called Poacherwatch.

Poacherwatch is a group formed by local landowners, farmers, gamekeepers and stalkers who work in conjunction with West Mercia Police and Gwent Police forces to share information and provide a co-ordinated response to poaching in Herefordshire, the Forest of Dean and Gwent.

Further to this disruptive work by WMP and Poacherwatch; two men from Aberdare, South Wales, have been found guilty of illegally shooting a deer, under the deer act 1991. The pair entered land in North Herefordshire in February 2018 and were sentenced at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday (12 November 2018).

Brian Morgan, aged 41, from Aberdare, South Wales and Justin Hopkins, aged 38, from Aberdare, South Wales were ordered to pay £2,400 in fines, costs and compensation, both men had their fire arms certificates revoked and Hopkins was disqualified from driving for 3 months.

A spokesperson for Poacherwatch said: "This gives a clear message that poaching will no longer be tolerated in the area we cover, we are working with the Police to continue to deter criminals and bring those that do commit crimes on rural land to justice through the Crown Prosecution Service and the Courts."

Officer Sarah Smith from West Mercia Police said: "We take poaching very seriously and are working closely with Poacherwatch to gather information for us to deal with not just poaching but other rural crime as well.

"I hope that the recent sentence given by the judge to the men that illegally shot a deer on private land shows that crimes such as this are taken very seriously and we will continue to work with Poacherwatch and the community to seek out intelligence and bring criminals to justice.

"We conduct proactive rural crime operations to enforce, prevent and encourage partner participation including cross border patrols."

Officer Smith continued: "The Rural Crime Reporting line was launched in partnership with the NFU and anyone who wants to report rural crime anonymously can do so by calling 0800 783 0137 or visit or by calling 101 or report in confidence via email: ."