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poacher turned gamekeeper

A person whose job or role has completely changed, from one extreme to another. Primarily heard in UK. The notorious computer hacker who once stole money from unsuspecting Internet users now helps the government catch other hackers—it's a strange case of poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn

an old poacher makes the best gamekeeper

People who have a lot of experience in a criminal activity are the ones best suited to trying to protect against that activity later in life. A: "I heard that computer company is planning on hiring renowned hackers to run their security infrastructure." B: "Well, old poachers make the best gamekeepers." A: "The new sheriff used to be a notorious thief?" B: "Hey, you know what they say—an old poacher makes the best gamekeeper."
See also: gamekeeper, make, old, poacher

old poacher makes the best gamekeeper

Prov. The best person to guard something is someone who knows all about how to steal it, so he or she can anticipate what thieves might do. We should hire the computer hacker to design computer security systems. An old poacher makes the best gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, make, old, poacher

poacher turned gamekeeper

If you describe someone as poacher turned gamekeeper, you mean that they have changed their job or opinion and now have authority over the same sort of people that they were themselves before. She returns as poacher turned gamekeeper. Previously a union leader, she now works for the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. Gary Mason, boxing's poacher turned gamekeeper, will make his managerial debut tomorrow. Note: You can also say that someone is gamekeeper turned poacher, when someone who was in authority changes to a situation where they need to be controlled by others. He used to manage properties for other landlords. Now the gamekeeper turned poacher has to find occupiers for his own building. Note: A poacher is someone who illegally hunts animals such as deer, pheasant or salmon. A gamekeeper is someone employed by a landowner to look after these animals, which are known as game.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn

poacher turned gamekeeper

someone who now protects the interests which they previously attacked.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn

poacher turned ˈgamekeeper

(British English) a person who has changed from one situation or attitude to the opposite one, especially somebody who used to oppose people in authority but is now in a position of authority: He used to represent an oil company but now works for an environmental organization; a real case of the poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
Two of the poachers had escaped from a previous contact at Kapungushire and one other escaped from a contact in the Kemuraras on the valley floor some time ago.
Also, the Assam government and the Centre have claimed of tightening the noose around poachers but not a single of the 243 poachers arrested in the last five years has been convicted under Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
In South Africa's massive Kruger Park, where hundreds of rhinos are killed each year, rangers are hunting for poachers using a former military helicopter and night-vision equipment provided by a private company.
Alarmed by the increased poaching, the sources said the authorities are stalling video cameras to keep vigil in the park and act if poachers arrive to kill the endangered animal.
When Tom Hardy meets men in South Africa who are breeding rhinos to try and protect their future, we see how the poachers are decimating their herds.
When the poachers saw two park rangers had spotted them, they opened fire, wounding both.
Even as a youngster I would hear talk of poachers who unfairly caught a lot of fish.
And, in a year or so the highly-armed poachers have killed about 25 rhinos.
In the Laikipia-Samburu region alone, 458 elephants were illegally killed by poachers in the last four years.
AN animal lover who has waged a long war against deer poachers at a Midland beauty spot has received death threats.
The woman trying to battle a huge rise in the numbers of deer being shot by poachers at a Midland beauty spot has revealed she has been targeted by death threats.
Tourist firms in Botswana are said to be abetting poachers in the nation.
CLAMPDOWN - the Environment Agency is stepping up its battle to catch and prosecute poachers on North-east rivers.
in October, a helicopter transported them from the eastern cape of South Africa to a shelter 1,000 miles away to protect them from poachers. A record 340-plus rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa last year-alarming news when three of the five remaining rhino species are critically endangered and as few as 5,000 black rhinos are left in Africa.