Birds killed at popular lake
Yobs who attacked and killed two birds at a popular lake are being hunted by police.
The duckling and coot were found at Singleton Lake off Bucksford Lane, Ashford on Friday afternoon.
Police say they had been “purposely injured”.
The fishing lake was subject to a banning order last year, preventing youths from congregating, after a spate of anti-social behaviour and reports of yobs brandishing machetes.
Despite police ramping up “high visibility patrols” in the area, it insists the lake is a safe place to visit.
However, Matt Lacey, a member of campaign group Friends of Singleton Lake, said wildlife crime isn’t taken seriously enough and he fears residents will take matters “into their own hands”.
He said: “I am a former bailiff at the lake but stood down as nothing ever got done to resolve such issues.
“Sadly wildlife crime does not appear to be taken seriously enough due to police levels and therefore respective priorities.
“The issue with that is that, at some point, locals, fed up with witnessing such events, will take matters into their own hands.
“It is a shame the lake, such an asset to the community, is avoided by so many due to this kind of anti-social behaviour.”
The lake has been made subject to a Public Space Protection Order, where police imposed dispersal orders to prevent youths from gathering.
It followed numerous reports last year of anti-social behaviour in the area, with PCSOs seizing catapults and slings from youths who were causing trouble to wildlife.
Speaking on the latest incident a police spokesman said: “Officers are currently investigating the circumstances around this incident and are aware of previous reports of anti-social behaviour in the area and are continuing to provide high visibility patrolling around the lakes.
“We take reports of all crime, including wildlife crime, seriously and there is a dedicated rural task force team which has been set up to tackle such crime.
“We would like to reassure residents that the lake continues to be a safe place to visit and enjoy, and would encourage residents and visitors to continue to enjoy the area.
“We were called at 2.52pm on Friday, July 14 to a report of wildlife being purposely injured at Singleton Lake.”
Meanwhile, the RSPCA has urged witnesses to come forward and call its animal cruelty line.
A spokesman said: “Wild birds, their nests and their eggs are protected by law in England and Wales. For more information about the Wildlife & Countryside Act, please see our website.
“Anyone who has any information about this incident can contact the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.”
‘Wildlife crime does not appear to be taken seriously’
Police are hunting for suspects after a brutal attack on wildlife, where two birds were killed at Singleton Lake, Ashford
The attack took place at Singleton Lake