MEMBERS of the public have been warned that helping themselves to a Christmas tree from North Wales forests could land them in court.

The Leader reported on Monday how an appeal was launched after a person was caught on camera making off from Clocaenog Forest in their vehicle with a tree on the roof.

Rob Taylor, North Wales Police rural crime team manager, said: "The team is working with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to target people who think they can take a shortcut and help themselves to a tree for Christmas.

"There are vast forest blocks across North Wales and NRW has a number of covert trail cameras so the chances of getting caught are high.

"There are a number of options open to us so don't take the chance.

"People might think there's no problem taking one, but these trees are owned by NRW in the main and you're committing theft which could land you in court and with a conviction."

Speaking to the public more widely, Mr Taylor urged people to be vigilant about where they get their Christmas tree from.

"Buy your tree from reputable dealers," he added.

"If you have doubts, don't buy it."