Police are increasing patrols in a Chesterfield park after reports of animals being shot and killed in a number of ‘distressing’ incidents.
A squirrel, a duck and an owl are among the wildlife that have been found dead in the past few weeks at Ringwood Park, near Hollingwood.
Officers are keen to hear from anyone with information about the incidents which have involved an air rifle being used.
PC Rebecca Damms, of Derbyshire police, said: “We have received reports of wildlife being shot and killed with an air rifle in the Ringwood Park area, along with concerns about anti-social behaviour and nuisance motorcycles in the area.
“These incidents have been distressing to those who have found the animals, who have suffered unnecessarily, and I would encourage anyone who has any information, or notices anything suspicious in the area to report it to us.”
Earlier this month, we reported how a duck was decapitated and set on fire in the park.
Andrew Mosley, who made the grim discovery, said: “Local children seem to think its acceptable to behead and set fire to wildlife just for fun.
“People should be aware of what’s happening and what possibly their children think is acceptable to do in a public space where families walk.”
Patrols are being carried out in the area by the local Safer Neighbourhood policing team and inquiries are ongoing, Derbyshire police said.
Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We were horrified to find that animals have been shot at Ringwood Park.
“Our staff will be extra vigilant to look for any suspicious and anti-social behaviour and we would encourage park users to do the same and, if they see anything, to report it to the police.” Commenting on our Facebook page, Davie Smythe posted: “Ringwood Park...again. Come on, someone must know who’s got an air rifle and goes out sniping in the park.”
Theresa Maher posted: “What is wrong with people.”
And Susan Bradford wrote: “There is no discipline on society, so idiots do exactly what they like!”
Call Derbyshire police on 101 if you have any information relating to the incidents, quoting the reference number 18*490959 and the name of the officer in the case, PC Rebecca Damms, in any correspondence.
You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.