United front against wildlife and rural crime given praise

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Coun Marc Jones and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Coun Stuart Tweedale.  Photo by David Dawson.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Coun Marc Jones and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Coun Stuart Tweedale. Photo by David Dawson.
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South Holland saw a large turnout of support on Thursday as police aim to take action on hare coursing.

Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire forces were joined by NFU representatives, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Coun Marc Jones and Deputy PCC Coun Stuart Tweedale.

“It was good to see Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire forces on board with Operation Galileo,” Coun Tweedale said.

“We’re getting a positive message out that hare coursing is an issue we’re going to deal with.

“But we’re also getting a message out to hare coursers that we’ll take your dogs away and pursue you throughout the hare coursing season.”

Lincolnshire Police was heavily criticised for their handling of Operation Galileo last year, especially its decision to disband a specialist hare coursing team.

Coun Tweedale said: “Last year, probably the wrong message went out and so, this time, we’re getting the message right from the beginning.”

Coun Jones added: “Having neighbouring forces with us for Operation Galileo is great news for our rural communities and terrible news for hare coursers.

“It shows them that we have the resources and the will to go after the dogs, the vehicles and the hare coursers themselves.”

MP backs ‘rigorous and vigorous action on courser menace’

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes has backed new measures against hare coursers who destroy crops and property in the area.

Police have vowed to seize dogs used by gangs involved in the activity and Mr Hayes said: “Obviously, I have been working on behalf of farmers for years to try to curb illegal hare coursing.

“It’s tended to come and go in waves but, over recent times, it’s been a growing problem again. I know how strongly farmers feel about this because it’s not simply having people on your land, it’s their attitude and they often issue threats.

“I’ve pressed time and time again for police to take the most rigorous and vigorous action, so I’m really keen for local people to support this and ensure that this menace is driven out of our area.”