Over the past six weeks there has been a huge increase in hare coursing taking place across the county, writes NFU’s Holland (Lincs) county adviser, Gordon Corner.
This year, Lincolnshire Police changed the way it runs Operation Galileo, its anti-hare coursing policing operation, leading to those who carry out hare coursing to believe the county is not being policed. However, that is not the case and the police have arrested or reported 48 people and seized five vehicles in late November and so far in December, alone.
There is no doubt the negative publicity hasn’t helped, but the NFU has organised three meetings with police so officers can explain to farmers and growers what they are doing to try and stop this illegal activity and to hear farmers’ and growers’ concerns.
Not only does this activity destroy crops, there is also evidence that an increase in hare coursing leads to an increase in rural crime, which is an additional concern for growers. The aggressive behaviour of these people leads to growers feeling very vulnerable on their farm, which is, of course, completely unacceptable.
It is clear from the evidence so far that most of those arrested are not from Lincolnshire, but from far afield. So it is vitally important that all hare coursing activity is reported to police on 101 and where possible car number plates recorded.