Police have warned that all wildlife crimes will be taken “extremely seriously” following the deaths of two birds of prey in mid Norfolk.

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A dead sparrowhawk with gunshot injuries was discovered by a couple out walking along Brisley Road in Whissonsett, near Fakenham, on February 16.

A week later another couple heard shooting while walking in Narford Wood near Swaffham, and found a dying buzzard which had been shot.

It is an offence to intentionally kill, injure, or take wild birds, and the maximum penalty that can be imposed is a fine of up to £5,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment.

Wildlife crime officer Det Con Dave Armstrong said: “Norfolk Constabulary treats wildlife crime extremely seriously and will take appropriate action against anyone caught deliberately harming or killing wild birds. We are privileged to live in a county with many areas of outstanding beauty and are surrounded by nature in all its forms and we wish this to continue.”

He urged anyone with information to call police in strict confidence.

RSPB senior investigations officer Guy Shorrock added: “The dramatic increase in breeding buzzard numbers in Norfolk and Suffolk during the last 20 years has been a great conservation success story. We would urge anyone with information to contact the police or ourselves.”

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