Landowners in North Yorkshire say a huge increase in deer poaching is being ignored by local police, with the owner of one well-known shoot admitting that local farmers are even considering acting as law enforcers themselves in an effort to control night-time trespass.

Derek Cornforth, of Long Plain Farm, Hambleton, near Thirsk, said: ?The police don?t seem to understand the needs of the rural community. We make repeated calls to them but get a half-hearted response. We?ve even suggested to the chief constable that we ought to take the law into our own hands to protect our property.?

For the past 10 years, Mr Cornforth has overseen a programme of fencing, hedgeplanting and ditch-digging in an attempt to reduce unlawful activity on his property. ?The people who are unlawfully gaining access to our land have a wider criminal intent,? he said. ?Our biggest fear is that, unless we get effective rural policing, this situation will escalate and a rise in more serious crimes is inevitable.?

The rest of this article appears in 24th November issue of Shooting Times.

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