A NUMBER of arrests have been made following a spate of deer poaching in County Durham.

Several deer have been killed in the Consett area of County Durham in the last few months.

Officers are now urging residents to pass on information that will help them catch offenders.

Last month, road policing unit officers stopped and searched a vehicle in Leadgate in which they found several animal carcasses, including a deer and some rabbits.

Two men, aged 30 and 33 from the Durham City area, were arrested on suspicion of poaching and bailed pending further enquiries.

Information led to the arrest of three men who were seen in the Medomsley area and who appeared to be poaching deer with dogs.

Police searched four addresses and officers seized two vehicles and arrested a 30-year-old man from Leadgate on suspicion of poaching. He is currently on police bail.

Two other men, one aged 26 from the Leadgate area and one aged 21 from the Medomsley area, were cautioned for poaching.

A third incident saw two men cautioned for poaching in the Tow Law area.

PCSO Vikki Ord, from the Consett neighbourhood policing team, said: "While there have been some good results, the recovery of some deer remains in a bucket in Consett at the end April suggests that there is still work to do.

“We have been really pleased with the response from the public so far in relation to the poaching of deer. However, the problem persists and so we are asking local people to remain vigilant and report any information that may be linked to the offence, for instance individuals out with dogs or air rifles in rural locations or descriptions or the movements of vehicles that may be being used to transport dead animals.”

Anyone with information that might help police tackle the problem is asked to call the Consett neighbourhood policing team on 101.