Poachers beware: the Whanganui rural community is watching you.
Whanganui Police Senior Sergeant Shayne Wainhouse said rural residents were vigilant in reporting poachers and in the past month a number of individuals and groups had been caught poaching in Parihauhau Rd, Turakina Valley, Waitotara Valley and Ahu Ahu Valley.
"In four cases people have been prosecuted and are going through the court system at the moment or have already entered guilty pleas," Wainhouse said.
"If you're poaching or illegally hunting on a property, be aware that there are now camera systems in a lot of these areas and the rural community around Whanganui is very vigilant about reporting poachers.
"Evidence is being collected and people can expect to be prosecuted if they are caught. If you hold a firearms licence you can expect to have it revoked if you're convicted. A lot of people aren't aware that if they are using vehicles or four-wheelers to get around while they are poaching, these items can be seized and forfeited."
Last week two poachers in the Waitotara Valley were arrested after a property owner discovered them and other residents along the valley reported their movements to police.
"We seized a late model vehicle and a number of four-wheelers," Wainhouse said.
"They have appeared in court and have been convicted and received sizeable fines."
The maximum penalty for illegal hunting is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.