A 'LARGE GROUP' targeted seagulls with catapults in Weymouth yesterday.

Dorset Police Community Support Officers were called to The Marsh to reports that the group was targeting birds with the weapon on Tuesday, July 25. 

Weymouth and Portland Police said on Facebook that a man was located and a catapult seized.

Officers added that the group were asked to move on and obliged, and warned they would receive a dispersal notice if they stayed on The Marsh. 

"This is an offence under the United Kingdom Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 that all wild gulls cannot be shot at using a catapult or other means of weapons," police added.

"The male was located and the catapult was seized. The group were asked to moved on and obliged when told they would be receiving a Section 35 dispersal notice if they were to stay on The Marsh as they were causing or likely to cause anti-social behaviour."

The incident comes after a front page Dorset Echo story earlier this summer which reported that 12 seagulls were killed when 12 'cruel' youngsters lured the birds into incoming traffic. 

Although gulls are a common sight in many areas near the coast, some species of gull, such as herring gulls and kittiwakes, are on the UK Red List.

Last week, the Dorset Echo also reported that a group of youths may be responsible for killing more than 20 ducks along the banks of the River Frome in Dorchester with catapults. 

Councillors spoke of their shock at the 'heartless and thoughtless' incident with police saying they would continue to patrol the river in the county town. 

Elsewhere last night on what was a 'busy sunny evening' for Weymouth PCSOs, officers were called to Pleasure Pier, just off the Pavilion car park, where a group of youths were jumping into the sea from the pier.

"Words of advice were given to the individuals involved, as although jumping in to the sea from the pier is not an offence, it can be dangerous and also lead to injury," Weymouth and Portland Police said.