Poaching not worth the risk

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Balclutha Police Senior Sergeant Chris Wakelin says an ongoing focus is on poachers in rural communities.

Landowners have been notifying police of late›night gunfire, and police have been attending to apprehend and charge poachers.

‘‘It’s impossible to be safely identifying targets and checking firing zones when shooting under cover of darkness. Charges related to unlawful hunting are heavy, beginning with loss of firearm’s licence, seizure of equipment including vehicles, fines of up to $100,000 and a two›year prison sentence. Farmers often have a deer problem and may welcome shooters, so permission to shoot on private property should always be asked for, while the penalties for poaching aren’t worth the risk,’’ Sen Sgt Wakelin said.

On Tuesday, April 19, a black Honda TRX500 quad bike stolen from a property in Coe Rd, near Hillend, was reported travelling in Station Rd about 11pm. Witnesses are sought.

A Ford Ranger was stolen from a property in Old Coach Rd, Clinton, and was last seen heading south about 6.30pm on Wednesday, April 20.

Police executed a search warrant in Kaitangata on Thursday, April 21, and seized cash, mobile phones and drug paraphernalia. Inquiries are continuing and charges are likely.