With uncultivated cleared fields, South Lincolnshire has once again become a target for illegal hare coursing.
On three separate occasions last week, my farm manager and I have intercepted these idiots and witnessed abusive behaviour and driving standards in scrap cars which would not be tolerated by anyone else.
The same two vehicles – a Jeep and a Subaru – have been observed loaded with dogs and at least half-a-dozen young men, who obviously think they are above the law. One particular 50-acre field of just emerged wheat was driven over by these people, creating ruts and damaging plants which will not recover.
Call the police, I hear you say. I grant you, that seems the right thing to do, but we then come up against centralisation and a civil operator, who I’m not convinced would know where Lincoln is, let alone Weston.
Certainly, by the time you have gone through the rigmarole of pressing this button and being placed on hold, the perpetrators will have had time to commit murder, book a ticket to South America and be well on the way to a new life.
I regularly read with interest that Lincolnshire Police claim that rural crime is down. Well, we all know the real reason for that ... nobody has the time to report anything, unless it is a murder.
It may also be down to every business spending hundreds of pounds on gates, security fences, cameras and dogs. They know there is more chance of seeing Santa Claus at Easter than a policeman ... unless, of course, he sits in a warm van on a straight piece of road with a speed camera.
Finally, I should clarify that any criticism of the force is just that; it is not a criticism of the men and women who have the unenviable task of policing this large rural county.