A farming family has hit out at the way police handle rural crime incidents after 14 of their sheep were illegally skinned and butchered.
Three Texel ewes and 11 lambs were butchered between 4pm on Sunday July 7 and 4pm on Monday July 8, but Katie Payne and partner Phil Neal, who own Park End Farming, Crick, were told the incident was ‘not an emergency’.
Twelve of the sheep were stolen, with their remains left in the field, and another two had their throats slit.
Ms Payne discovered the dead sheep at about three o’clock on Monday afternoon on the way home from the school run.
Mr Neal said: “She came across this mound of skins and heads and intestines. We could not even pull the pile apart to count them.
“Katie called 999 and was told to call 101, but was put on hold. I rang the local police and complained that nobody had come out to see us.
“I was told the police did not see it as an emergency, and it was not life or death.”
The first officers attended the scene almost 24 hours after the couple reported the incident, with an officer from the wildlife division also attending some time later.
“On Tuesday afternoon we had an officer from the wildlife division come out and he did the best of what he could, which was tell me that he covered 600 square-miles on his own and that he had limited resources,” Mr Neal said.
“This is not a problem that is going to go away and the police forces need to find a way to tackle this.
“I put it this way – if I enter your garden carrying a knife in a view to rob you or take your dog, it is armed robbery.
“You enter my property with a knife and kill and steal my sheep, there is not a bit of difference.”
It came as a similar incident happened in the Rushton area of Northamptonshire, where two shearling rams were butchered in the paddocks.
In Lancashire, three men were caught in the early hours of July 8 attempting to butcher tups at Lane Side Farm, Blackburn with Darwen.
Northamptonshire Police said it was investigating the incident, appealing for anyone with any information that may assist their inquiries to get in touch via 101.
The incident number is 19000355217.