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With the help of gamekeepers, farmers and land managers, Operation Dunlin II, has resulted in 17 people being ordered to court for poaching offences and three for vehicle offences. Four vehicles were recovered by police.

Operations Dunlin I and Dunlin II focussed on cross border issues between Doncaster Rotherham and Barnsley – primarily the illegal use of 4×4 cars to facilitate badger persecution, deer poaching and rural theft.

Superintendent David Hartley is the force coordinator for wildlife crime.

He said: “We have been listening to our rural communities and recognised the growing concern relating to the use of 4×4 cars and trucks to enter land illegally for badger persecution, poaching and rural theft. As force lead in this area, I would like to personally reassure our rural communities of our dedication in enforcing the laws that protect them. We will continue to work closely with partner agencies, landowners, farmers and gamekeepers to do this.”