Police urge caution after Buckland pheasant heist
Police are warning rural workers to remain vigilant after 400 pheasants were stolen from a Hertfordshire village last week.
The birds are worth £12,000, but could cost the shoot far more in lost business if the owner is forced to cancel a shoot.
East Hertfordshire Rural Police commented: “If you are a gamekeeper or landowner, please be aware that criminals are out at night.
“This will cost the victim thousands of pounds in lost revenue. There is [the] cost of the lost birds but also the shoot will now be affected.
“The estimated loss at this time is £12,000 in birds, but if the shoot is cancelled the loss [will be] more than £60,000.”
The pheasants were taken overnight from the Buckland area on the bank holiday weekend, some time between 27 and 28 August.
The theft comes shortly after the publication of the latest annual NFU Mutual rural crime report, which revealed that rural crime cost the UK £39million last year.
Rural groups have called for the gap in funding between urban and rural constabularies to be closed and for the escalation of crime in the countryside to be made a priority issue.
Sarah Lee, Countryside Alliance head of policy, told Shooting Times: “It is very sad to hear of an incident like this, but unfortunately it comes as no surprise given the data from the latest NFU Mutual rural crime report.
“Rural crime has a huge impact on the livelihoods of those involved and the fear of future crime can have a detrimental effect on people. It is really important that people report rural crime so the police are aware and can help stop it.”
Hundreds of birds were stolen