South Holland farmers calling for dedicated Rural Action Team
Farmers are calling for a dedicated Rural Crime Action Team to help tackle issues such as hare coursing.
The National Farmers Union, including South Holland branch chairman Chris Carter, and the Countryside Alliance want Lincolnshire Police to create a team to deal with rural crimes, including equipment theft.
New chief constable Chris Haward is reported to be considering the application.
Mr Carter says that South Holland is one of the worst affected areas for hare coursing with incidents happening daily.
He said: “Cambridgeshire Police have a rural crime action team and it is very effective. Often when people commit rural crime they go over the border to Cambridgeshire and the police arrest them.
“Lincolnshire police need to go to the Government as Cambridgeshire have done so we have really got good resources. People are frightened by rural crime."
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “The ability of Lincolnshire to respond to rural crime and hare coursing has been utterly transformed since I was elected. During my time as PCC I have invested in 4X4s, drones, all-terrain vehicles, night time goggles and a myriad of other new technologies specifically introduced to support the efforts to keep rural communities safe and let’s not forget we were the first force to start seizing dogs from coursers too.
“Prior to the last 12 months this investment had resulted in major strides forward in our efforts to tackle hare coursing. In 2019 the number of incidents had been limited to 900 – down from 1.965 in 2017. The outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on the number of front line officers available has temporarily hampered those efforts but with the lifting of lockdown in our sights I am confident we will see a renewed crackdown on these illegal gangs.
“The Chief Constable and I have already announced the creation of a new Roads Policing Team, which will aid operations to stop criminals coming into our communities and a new crime enforcement team that will be tasked with delivering the revamped rural strategy. A new £3 million fund created from extra money I’ve gained from central Government will tackling violent and harmful crimes including protecting people living in isolated areas too. These measures coupled with the commitment to a further record recruitment of 120 officers I am confident we are well placed to strengthen further our fight against rural crime.”