Warning signs given to farmers in wake of horrific sheep attacks across Northamptonshire

Signs reminding rural residents to report suspicious activity to police following a spate of sheep attacks have been distributed to farmers and landowners.

Northamptonshire Police are investigating lambs and sheep found killed and illegally butchered on farms in Crick, Whilton, Clipston, Kelmarsh and Rushton earlier this month.

PCSO Les Conopo with the warning signs put up across Northamptonshire as a result of the sheep attacks. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

PCSO Les Conopo with the warning signs put up across Northamptonshire as a result of the sheep attacks. Photo: Northamptonshire Police

The warning signs have been produced thanks to funding from the police, fire and crime commissioner, Stephen Mold.

“I met with the NFU and heard very clearly just how much concern these horrible crimes are causing to the local community," he said.

“I am happy to support initiatives from our local policing teams who are not only working hard to disrupt and deter the criminals involved but also working with partners to try to ensure that our rural residents have their concerns taken seriously and feel safe.”

Farmers and their families have been horrified to find the butchered remains of their livestock in Northants and neighbouring counties, while a lamb was tied up with electrical fencing in Moulton.

The National Farmers' Union estimates suggest that more than 100 sheep have been illegally slaughtered in Northamptonshire since March.

One arrest on suspicion of criminal damage and theft has been made so far, a 40-year-old Hampshire man on July 24 - he remains released under investigation.

Neighbourhood policing, rural crime, detectives and forensic investigation teams are working on Operation Stock, with dedicated rural patrols and community reassurance continuing as well.

The dedicated police community support officer for Crick and Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal, Les Conopo, is one of the officers helping to distribute the signs to the farming community.

“The idea behind the signs is to raise awareness of the issue, encourage the reporting of suspicious activity, and to show potential offenders that both residents and police are keeping a close eye on what is happening in our rural communities," he said.

“The signs have been really well received, and we’re grateful for the continued information our communities are providing as we work to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious is urged to call police on 101 quoting Operation Stock, or 999 in an emergency.