Police have seized suspected poachers cars under the poaching act.

Northumbria police officers thwarted two teams of suspected poachers in Northumberland by seizing their vehicles over the weekend.

On Friday, 28 February, members of the public alerted officers to suspecting poaching taking place in the Plenmeller area.

The savvy members of the public took a note of a car registration, allowing officers to track the vehicle and pull over the driver, resulting in the seizure of a Volvo V50 under the Poaching Prevention Act.

And the following day, an erratically driven VW Bora and its passengers aroused the suspicions of officers as it drove through Hexham town centre.

Officers working as part of Operation Hawkeye, the Force’s dedicated initiative to tackle rural crime, pulled the vehicle over and a search uncovered two high powered lamps, commonly used in poaching, and a dead rabbit.

The car was once again seized under the Poaching Prevention Act.

Inspector Garry Neill, who oversees Operation Hawkeye, said: “We always encourage anyone with any information regarding the suspected mistreatment of wildlife through hunting, poaching or any other means to get in touch and our dedicated Operation Hawkeye team will investigate.

“In this case, I want to sincerely thank the member of the public who reported their suspicions. We need you to be our eyes and ears and by working together we can our area a better place to call home.

“I also want to thank our officers on patrol who used their gut instinct to pull over a car when they saw something that wasn’t right.”

He added: “As a Force we are committed to protecting our area’s wildlife.

“We strongly believe those who mistreat or neglect any animal should be punished and be made to face the consequences of their actions.

“Poachers and those suspected of poaching do risk having their equipment seized, this includes their vehicles.”

If you suspect wildlife crime to be taking place in your area or are worried about the welfare of an animal, contact Northumbria Police on 101 and quote Operation Hawkeye.