Derbyshire Police has issued an appeal for information after receiving reports of deer poaching on Forestry Commission land near Matlock.
Specialist wildlife officers have been investigating reports of poaching in Kelstedge, Uppertown, Darley Moor, Farley and Matlock over the past month.
The Forestry Commission had recently felled a large number of trees and this is thought to have left the areas more vulnerable to incidences of poaching.
Police Constable Emerson Buckingham said: “Any reports of poaching are taken very seriously. We are working closely with the Forestry Commission to tackle issues in the area and identify those involved.
“Officers will be carrying out regular overt and covert night-time and daytime patrols, but we need residents’ help to increase our chances of catching the offenders responsible.
“Please contact us urgently if you see anyone that you think may be committing a wildlife offence such as poaching.
“You can also call us or e-mail us with any information you might have that could suggest who is involved.”
If you have a wildlife concern or query, contact wildlife co-ordinator Liz Hadfield via Wildlife.Enquiries@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk or call 101 and ask to speak to a wildlife crime officer.
To make an anonymous report, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Detailed descriptions of suspects or vehicles, registration plates, accurate locations and prompt reporting are crucial in helping officers bring these criminals to justice.
A Forestry Commission spokesman added: “Poaching is a problem for many land owners, including the Forestry Commission.
“It is a crime and the public can support landowners by contacting the police on 101 with any information they believe may help catch poachers, and by only buying venison from reputable suppliers.”