A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of poaching after two deer carcasses were found by a roadside.
Officers patrolling near Stannington at around 2.30am a week ago on Saturday, January 28, made the discovery after stopping to talk to the driver of a parked 4x4.
While talking to the driver, standing to the rear of the vehicle at the time, they noticed he had blood on his hands.
Further investigation revealed the bodies of two young deer next to the vehicle. Both had been gutted.
Officers then arrested the 37-year-old, of Ashington, and seized the vehicle and a firearm.
The man has since been has been bailed pending further inquiries.
A second man seen by the 4x4 ran away and has still not been tracked down.
Wildlife crime officer Pc Mick Leybourne said: “We take poaching very seriously and work with gamekeepers and farmers to target illegal poachers.
“We run a number of operations across Northumberland where we look for and target those involved in poaching and have them stopped.
“Poachers no longer seem content with lamping for rabbits and hares. Deer are now top of their list, and they go to great lengths to kill them using firearms and dogs.
“We have excellent links with farmers and gamekeepers and would encourage them to continue to report similar incidents to us.”
Poachers can face having their vehicles and firearms seized under the 1828 Night Poaching Act.