Police appeal for information after ‘seagull hit with cricket bat’


POLICE investigating an incident where a man reportedly injured a seagull by hitting it with a cricket bat in Lyme Regis are appealing for information.

The incident occurred at the western end of Marine Parade, near Poco Pizza, at about 3.50pm on Sunday, July 17. It was reported that a man swung at the seagull with the cricket bat, causing a broken wing.

The man is described as white, aged in his 50s and about five feet, ten inches tall. He is believed to have spoken in a South African accent and was wearing a grey ‘Jim Beam’ T-shirt and a grey hat.

PC Josh Hurwood, of West Dorset police, said: “This was a distressing incident for people to have witnessed, with many young families in the area at the time and we are carrying out an investigation, with support from the RSPCA, to identify the man involved.

“This occurred on the seafront at a busy time of day, and we are appealing for anyone who saw what happened, or who has any information relating to the man’s identity, to please come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk/contact, via email or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55220115158.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.

The law on seagulls

Like all other wild birds, gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it an offence to intentionally injure or kill any gull, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.

However, licences issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs allow control measures to be taken where there are public health or public safety concerns.

The law does not permit control measures for gulls if they are causing noise nuisance or simply damaging property.

The public are asked not to feed seagulls. When gulls are fed regularly it creates an artificially high population and encourages further breeding pairs to take up residence in the area.

Residents and visitors to Lyme Regis are strongly advised not to feed the seagulls, as this will not only increase the seagull population but will also cause unnecessary annoyance to neighbours. It may also result in a fixed penalty notice.

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