EAGLE-eyed Rural Watch volunteers helped track down a suspected drug driver after reporting suspicious activity near Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire.

Officers tracked down a Subaru Forester after residents reported concerns about poachers in the area over last weekend.

A Rural Watch member called North Yorkshire Police at 1.40am on Sunday November 15 to report the suspicious Subaru on the A170 near the top of Sutton Bank. He said three men dressed in camouflage clothing were inside the car, with a number of dogs.

Officers from the Roads Policing Group found the car within minutes, and stopped it as it travelled towards Thirsk. The driver, a 29-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of drug driving, after testing positive for cocaine at the roadside.

He was taken into custody and has since been released under investigation, pending forensic results, and police enquiries are continuing.

North Yorkshire Police said they are grateful to the vigilant rural watch members who helped in the operation. The groups which operate all over the county are made up of farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, rural business and estate owners, as well as anyone who lives or works in rural areas.

A spokesperson for the police said they act as the 'eyes and ears' of officers in their fight against crime in the countryside.