Petitioners attack ‘total lawlessness’ of South Holland hare coursing gangs

RURAL CRIME: Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones (left) and a police officer from Operation Galileo inspect the damage caused by suspected hare coursers in South Holland on Friday.  Photo supplied.
RURAL CRIME: Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones (left) and a police officer from Operation Galileo inspect the damage caused by suspected hare coursers in South Holland on Friday. Photo supplied.
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Nearly 200 people have signed a petition launched by a new action group demanding a crackdown on “lawless” hare coursers in South Holland and the Deepings.

The petition calls on Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones, along with Chief Constable Neil Rhodes, “to provide extra funding, resources and officers to effectively deal with hare coursing in South Lincolnshire”.

South Lincs Against Hare Coursing, the group behind the petition, has been formed just days after police carried out a day of action against hare coursing in the area last Friday.

But one farmer, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “The day of action the police said they were going to have was a disaster as the hare coursers stayed away, knowing there would be a bigger than normal police presence.”

Farmers and their families shared their experiences of having been threatened with violence and arson, along with damage to property and crops, at a meeting of Market Deeping and District Neighbourhood Policing Panel on Monday.

Coun Andrew Bowell, vice- chairman of Deeping St James Parish Council and who was at the meeting, said: “It was obvious that those in attendance were living in fear and their lives were becoming intolerable.

It was obvious that those in attendance were living in fear and their lives were becoming intolerable

Coun Andrew Bowell, vice- chairman of Deeping St James Parish Council

“They explained how they were receiving daily threats and abuse from the hare coursers, with some having been threatened with stabbings and having their homes burned down.

“One lady said that she was frightened to take her small child out for a walk in her buggy, while children are no longer allowed to play outside or ride their bikes for fear of being injured or killed.

“It is total lawlessness in this area and the people have had enough.”

Mr Jones, who joined police on the day of action, said: “It was extremely important for me to see, first-hand, the problems faced by our rural communities and the work that is being done by the force to combat the issues.

“I know how utterly frustrated some of our community are with the criminal behaviour being targeted at rural and remote areas and I am determined that Lincolnshire Police should have what is needed to prevent and detect crime across our county, regardless of the location.”

You can sign the petition by visiting https://www.change.org/p/lincolnshire-pol-stop-hare-coursing-in-south-lincolnshire-before-someone-gets-hurt

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