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Appeal for information after foxes tortured and set on fire in Newham

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Appeal for information after foxes tortured and set on fire in Newham

Detectives are appealing for information following reports that a group of men have been deliberately catching and torturing foxes in east London – including setting them on fire.

Police were called by an animal rescue group on Monday, 27 February in relation to a fox being set on fire in a wooded area near Kestrel Avenue and Linton Gardens, E6.

The group was contacted by a member of public who was awoken at about 01:00hrs on Monday, 27 February by the sounds of screaming.

They initially thought it was a human making the distressed sounds, but upon inspection they saw a group of men pouring what is believed to be lighter fluid over a fox and setting it on fire with a lighter. The fox managed to escape, but was badly burnt. The extent of its injuries, or if it survived, remain unknown.

Enquiries have established that the group regularly go to the area in the early hours of the morning and have reportedly previously captured and tortured foxes – including starting fires to smoke them out of their dens and setting their dogs on them.

The group is described as four black men, aged about 18 to 20.

Detective Constable James Mahoney, a wildlife crime officer in Newham and Waltham Forest, said: “I am truly shocked and sickened by these appalling, cruel incidents and I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward so we can catch those responsible and prevent any more foxes from being hurt.

“If you live in the area, please check any doorbell, dash cam or CCTV footage in case you’ve captured these heinous crimes or a group of males matching the description loitering around. It is also possible that the group are not just targeting foxes in the Kestrel Avenue area, and so I’d urge the people of Newham to remain vigilant and report any information to us or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 2533/27FEB.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




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