SUSPECTED poachers have been caught by police in Ryedale for the second time this week.

A member of the public spotted a group of men and lurcher dogs in suspicious circumstances near Salton, north of Malton, at 2.30pm on Thursday.

A few minutes later, North Yorkshire Police's Mobile Rural Watch volunteers in the area contacted police with an update that the suspects had travelled south towards Great Habton in a Honda CR-V. A live check on the car revealed it was linked to a man suspected of poaching offences elsewhere and officers located the vehicle.

At 3.30pm, four men inside were stopped and checked. Due to the circumstances, all four were issued with a dispersal order, requiring them to leave North Yorkshire. Police escorted them to the county border - to ensure they had left for good.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “This incident goes to show that - even in the most remote, rural areas of North Yorkshire - suspected poachers will find it very difficult to move about unchallenged.

On Tuesday, at 1.20am, in Slingsby, three suspected poachers in a Ford Ranger were stopped and checked as part of Operation Checkpoint. However, due to the circumstances, they were issued with a Dispersal Order, requiring them to leave North Yorkshire.

Mobile Rural Watches operate across the North Yorkshire countryside, supporting the force’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Rural Taskforce.

To find out more, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, or Rural Taskforce officer, by phoning 101.