Teenagers arrested for killing geese with slingshots and barbecuing them

Birds are being catapulted to death and a wild Canada goose was barbecued in Nottinghamshire.

Police said officers will be on patrol to catch those responsible after one youngster was caught in the middle of aiming a slingshot at a group of songbirds.

Officers recently received six reports that dead birds had been found by members of the public in the Balderton and Barnby areas, all of which had injuries consistent with catapults, Nottinghamshire Live reports.

There were also concerns that youths were being abusive to members of the public.

The incidents related to the Bowbridge Road, Balderton Lake, Cleveland Square, Barnby Gate and Clay Lane areas during the evening time.

Newark police set up a plain-clothed operation with uniformed officers to catch those destroying the wildlife in the area.

A teenager, 15, was located using a catapult on Sustrans, Catkin Way, Balderton and was just about to fire it at some local songbirds. He was detained and the catapult was seized.

He will now be dealt with by the Youth Justice Service for a number of wildlife offences.

Three youths were also detained in the Blue Lake area of Barnby Gate after plain-clothed officers witnessed them chasing ducks and geese and behaving anti-socially. They were all spoken with.

A suspected stolen off-road motorbike was also seized after being stopped by the police quad bike being ridden off-road in the Quarry Lane area.

Three youths were detained following a foot chase after officers received a report of nuisance behaviour in the Balderton Lake area.

All three were stop searched and catapults and ball bearings seized before being taken home to parents.

Another group was also spoken with about wildlife concerns after being spotted acting suspiciously and then trying to outrun the police quad bike.

All those involved are now on the police radar going forward.

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Also during recent operations, police community support officers detained three youths who ran away from officers attending a report of men firing a catapult in Hawtonville. Ball bearings were seized.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Rob Harrison said: "We've seen some really concerning behaviour aimed out our local wildlife and it's beyond belief that people seem intent on deliberately setting out to harm other living creatures.

"Lots of our residents have spoken about their concerns and find it really distressing to come across animals that have been deliberately killed.

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"It's completely unacceptable behaviour and thankfully our undercover operation has been ousting a number of those responsible.

"Alongside proactive enforcement, we are also planning an educational package with our partners with a view to visiting local schools to try and understand why youngsters are doing this and to explain to them how heartless it is and what the consequences might be.

"We also ask parents to speak with their children and make sure they know that this is unacceptable and if caught using a slingshot in a public place, face arrest and prosecution

"People can also expect to see a more high profile police presence in our wildlife zones and rest assured that we will continue our undercover work and operations to catch those responsible."

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