RURAL crime officers are ramping up their war on illegal hunters and trespassers, with blitzes to catch those in the act across the New England North West.
Police from the Oxley rural crime prevention team are trying to track down those behind a string of reports of illegal hunting in the Loomberah area, near Tamworth.
Officers said the Marsden Park Road area has been a target for weeks, with local making several reports.
Police were on patrol on the Seven Mile TSR about 7am after a tip-off from the public, when they spotted a white utility, and three dogs nearby running around the scrub.
The 24-year-old Moree driver was stopped and questioned by police, who then searched the vehicle.
Inside, officers seized a large hunting knife.
The man was fined $500 for hunting game animal on private or public land without a licence and a $550 fine for custody of a knife in a public place.
Police said hunting on TSRs was prohibited because of the risks to livestock and recreational users using the reserves.
Meanwhile, two other men have been arrested for similar offences in Moree after a farmer spotted a vehicle acting suspiciously on a property outside of the town.
About 1.30pm on January 23, rural crime officers as well as the Moree Target Action Group (TAG) and local detectives were patrolling the Carnarvon Highway north of Moree, where the white Toyota Hilux was spotted driving through a TSR.
Officers intercepted the ute, and stopped and questioned 18-year-old men.
One of the men was allegedly in possession of a small electronic shock device, or a taser.
As part of an ongoing investigation, police also seized the white Toyota Hilux.
One of the pair was charged with possessing a prohibited weapon in contravention of a weapons prohibition order and refused bail.
The second man was charged with entering inclosed lands. Both will front court at a later date.
A police spokesperson said the arrests were as a result of the vigilant farmer.
“In this instance police were greatly assisted by the farmer, who was able to obtain a partial registration number and photographs of the vehicle,” the spokesperson said.
“The farmer also had clearly posted ‘no trespassing’ signs at all entry gates to his property, which assists police in being able to prosecute these offences.”