HARE COURSING: Farmer hits out at police

Chris Carter
Chris Carter

I must give top marks to the best bit of creative comedy to come from the police for several years.

I refer, of course, to the statement by Chief Inspector Jim Tyner in responding to recent arrests for hare coursing in South Lincolnshire.

Rural dwellers will also lose faith in the police and may well take matters into their own hands

He reports that Lincolnshire is now “closed to hare coursers”.

Really? It would seem that Mr Tyner is plainly unaware of the situation just to the west of Spalding in the Crowland/Deeping St Nicholas area, or the wild west as it’s fast becoming known.

Not a day goes by when a farmer has to report yet another incident of hare coursing to the police with, sadly, little effect, since whatever police presence there might be is obviously insufficient to deter these criminals.

To put this into perspective, hare coursing is now illegal and those who participate in the act risk being arrested and having their dogs and vehicles confiscated.

A criminal underclass now comes into south Lincolnshire to indulge in this sport on a daily basis.

Why? Because Lincolnshire Police announced earlier this year that Operation Gallileo, a specific anti-hare coursing project, had been discontinued.

Instead, policing of this menace would be undertaken by local officers, rather than those based at Lincolnshire Police headquarters.

Since then, the original statement about discontinuing Gallileo has been modified, but the damage was already done, with miscreants and hare coursing ‘enthusiasts’ concluding that Lincolnshire would now be a safe place to go.

Why is it important to deal with hare coursers? At present, we in the Crowland/Deeping St Nicholas area frequently see vehicle tracks all over our fields, made by these people driving over growing crops with apparent alacrity.

Apart from the damage caused to crops as they trespass on land, hare coursers tend to check out the contents of farm buildings for equipment they might come back later to steal, or note features on farms that they might be able to cause damage to should they be challenged.

Rural crime is a big issue since the effectiveness of inner city police forces has driven criminals into the countryside for easier pickings where the police are rarely seen.

People living in the countryside are used to the remoteness but they do not enjoy feeling threatened or intimidated by people who have no regard for any law and see themselves as above it.

Until the police start being effective and deliver what they are paid to do – protecting the public – then not only will the criminals continue to have no respect for the law, but rural dwellers will also lose faith in the police and may well take matters into their own hands.

I leave it to your readers to think of the possible consequences.