Help police by reporting signs of badger baiting in Derbyshire
Police are urging residents, walkers and visitors to Derbyshire to look out for the signs of badger baiting and report it.
Officers say that with more people out and about enjoying the countryside, they can become the force’s eyes and ears.
Derbyshire Rural Crime Team is hoping to raise awareness of the issue and help protect badgers and their setts across the county.
Badger baiting involves digging into badger setts to capture badgers and then either letting them fight each other or making them fight against trained dogs.
It is an illegal activity under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
PC Paul Russel, of the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team, said: “Badger baiting is a crime and is something which can result in the death or serious injury of badgers.
"It can also put dogs at risk of suffering due to a badger’s powerful bite and claws, which they will use when they feel under threat from a dog.
“One of our main aims is to protect our wildlife and to target those that commit wildlife crime in Derbyshire and so we would ask people to help us by reporting anyone they see walking in woodland areas with dogs and carrying spades or acting suspiciously.
“Also, if you see bright lights at night-time in areas where there are badger setts, it is possible illegal activity could be taking place.”
PC Russell added: “If the incident is happening at that time, it is important to call 999 as a crime could be in progress.”
If you can, try to make a note of the following information which will help officers to decide on their response and any subsequent investigation.
*How many people are there? Can you describe them?
*Do they have dogs with them, and if so, how many? Can you tell what type?
*Exactly where are they? It can be trickier in more rural locations, but please give as much information as you can. What3Words could be useful here.
*Do you know if they have a vehicle parked nearby? If so, can you tell us its make, model, colour, or registration number? Where is it parked?
If the incident isn’t happening right now, call 101 or contact Derbyshire police via the website or social media.