Surge in hare coursing acts

Hare coursing signs put up by farmers in and around Crowland with rural and wildlife officer PC Nick Willey and NFU (Holland) Lincolnshire branch Ian Stancer (back left).  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Hare coursing signs put up by farmers in and around Crowland with rural and wildlife officer PC Nick Willey and NFU (Holland) Lincolnshire branch Ian Stancer (back left). Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Police across south Lincolnshire are dealing with a wave of hare coursing activity across the area, with 15 
reported cases in the last three days.

Five men from Surrey were arrested in Dunsby, near Bourne, at about 11am yesterday and their vehicle was seized just four days after another gang from the same county were stopped and their 4x4 seized by police in Cradge Bank, Spalding, on Sunday.

There were also reports of hare coursing on Monday when police made public the descriptions of a blue Freelander, Green estate and black Honda CRV they were looking for as the hunting season hits its peak.

Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, popular ex-South Holland community policing inspector and lead officer on rural crime for Lincolnshire Police, said: “I recognise the immense impact that hare coursing has on our rural communities.

“We continue to have Operation Galileo in place to respond to reports of hare coursing which is often linked to violent behaviour, thereby raising concerns amongst farmers and rural communities.

“But instead of having a team of officers who were expected to respond to incidents across the 2,687 square miles of Lincolnshire, we have equipped and skilled our local neighbourhood officers in the powers and legislation which relate to hunting with dogs.”

The surge in hare coursing comes despite a campaign by police, farmers and landowners to highlight the crime which carries a maximum £5,000 fine.

Ben Underwood of the Country, Land and Business Association, said: “Hare coursers trespass on private land to carry out this illegal activity, with no consideration for landowners’ property and crops and ready to use violence if disturbed.”