Northamptonshire Police is urging rural communities to look out for and report any suspicious activity following four incidents this week where livestock have been killed and professionally butchered in their field.
Fourteen lambs were killed in a field off the A428 between Crick and West Haddon, sometime between 4pm on Sunday 7 July and 4pm on Monday, 8 July. The carcasses of 12 lambs were stolen and the remains left in the field, with a further two killed but left at the scene.
Between 8am on Tuesday, July 9 and 8am on Wednesday, July 10, 21 lambs were slaughtered and stolen from a field off the Nobottle Road near Whilton in Daventry, with their remains left behind in the field.
This morning, Saturday, July 13, the remains of at least 10 sheep were found in a field in Harrington Road, Kelmarsh, and in Moulton, a lamb was found injured in a field in Boughton Road, after being tied up with electric fence wire.
To help protect livestock and catch those responsible, Northamptonshire Police is urging people who live and work in rural locations to report anything suspicious they see.
Neighbourhood Inspector Scott Little said: “To have this many incidents in just a few days is extremely concerning and we are appealing for information from the rural community to help us catch those responsible.
“Inquiries are ongoing into these incidents and we are asking for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in these areas over the past week to get in touch. We’d also like to hear from anyone who may have any dash cam or CCTV footage that might be relevant or any other information that could assist the investigation.
“The lambs appear to have been professionally slaughtered and their carcasses have then been stolen. For farmers to find their animals have been killed and butchered like this is not only very upsetting, it also has financial repercussions.
“If you see something that strikes you as unusual, out of the ordinary or just a bit ‘off’ please let us know by calling 101 or making a report online. If you think a crime is happening at the time, please call 999.
“Even a small piece of information may be a vital key that allows us to link similar offences and help us identify and bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.
“We also want farmers to be aware that this has been happening and neighbourhood officers will be visiting farmers and landowners on their patch over the next few days. We're also advising that any loose fencing, pens or similar equipment that may be in your fields is removed and securely stored.
"If you suspect someone has attempted to target your animals, or find that you’ve lost livestock in this way, please report it to the police immediately.
Suspicious activity and non-emergency crime can be reported to Northamptonshire Police on 101 or online at www.northants.police.uk/reportonline. In an emergency, always call 999.
Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.