Officers from Northamptonshire Police and Warwickshire Police raided four addresses in Coventry on Saturday (10 August).
The activity was part of Operation Stock, the Northamptonshire Police investigation into a number of reports of illegal sheep butchery and theft across the county. It is linked to similar investigations in neighbouring forces, including Warwickshire.
Since February, Northamptonshire Police has received the reports of lambs and sheep being killed and butchered in the county.
While Operation Stock is primarily concerned with illegal butchery, officers are also investigating a number of reports of sheep and lamb thefts. The theft of 64 ewes from a field near West Haddon last Wednesday (7 August) is being investigated as part of the operation.
Saturday’s police raid
Saturday’s raid involved 25 officers from Northamptonshire and Warwickshire police forces, including a specialist search team. A 39-year-old Coventry man, arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage, remains in police custody.
Operation Stock is being overseen by inspector Tracy Moore, head of rural crime at Northamptonshire Police. She said: “Today’s activities represent just one element of the extensive work underway as part of our investigations into illegal butchery and sheep theft.
“We have been able to carry these warrants out thanks to intelligence received as a result of our teams working together and also with other forces. There’s a huge collective effort underway, both within Northamptonshire Police and with our partners, in investigating these awful crimes.
Bringing those responsible to justice
“This effort will continue as we work to bring those responsible to justice, and I’d like to thank our rural communities and partners for the support and information they continue to provide.
“All information has value, so please continue to let the police know about any suspicious activity in and around livestock or in rural areas.”
Senior investigating officer detective inspector Johnny Campbell, of Northampton CID, added: “This enforcement operation demonstrates how seriously we are taking this crime series, and how intent we are on catching those responsible and bringing them to justice.”
Anyone with information about offences linked to Operation Stock should call Northamptonshire Police on 101, quoting the operation name.