Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C


‘Keep dogs and cars’ call as hare coursing reports more than double

Specific guidelines for hare coursing sentences should include the seizure of cars and dogs, said Suffolk's police and crime commissioner  Picture: MICHAEL HALL

Specific guidelines for hare coursing sentences should include the seizure of cars and dogs, said Suffolk's police and crime commissioner Picture: MICHAEL HALL

Tougher punishment for hare coursers is being called for after reports of the crime more than doubled in a year across Suffolk.

Although a report showed an overall drop in rural crime from 2016 to 2017 and a further projected fall in 2018 there was an increase in reported hare coursing from 141 calls in 2016/17 to more than 400 in 2017/18.

This year’s early harvest meant offences were already being reported daily, said the report.

The rise mirrors an increase in neighbouring force areas and will be of high priority for the rural crime team over coming months, said the chief constable.

After the report also revealed a worrying national rise in violence towards officers and landowners by hare coursers, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Suffolk is particularly vulnerable to this type of crime due to its big open spaces and population of brown hares.

“Almost all of those responsible have criminal records. They can be violent, threatening, will trespass and damage property, and very often travel in stolen cars.

“A lot of money changes hands – and that’s why they do it.”

Mr Passmore said the force had enjoyed considerable success since launching a new rural policing strategy last year, and would see greater emphasis with three dedicated officers and the possibility of more investment.

Earlier this year, the Country Land and Business Association called for tailored sentencing guidelines to include vehicle seizure and compensation for any damage caused by hare coursers.

Mr Passmore supported calls for more consistency and clear guidelines in the courts.

“It’s clear the biggest assets need to be confiscated,” he added.

“The dogs need to be taken away and the cars need to be crushed. We have to put a ring of steel around the county.”

Earlier this month, a seasonal operation was launched to tackle hare coursing in the region.

Operation Galileo involves action days targeting locations known for hare coursing, which was banned under the Hunting Act 2004 and is linked to illegal gambling and criminal damage.

Following the launch, Sergeant Brian Calver, of the rural crime team, appealed for public support.

“If you see it in action call 999,” he added.

“We want to come down hard on these people.”

Other information about hare coursing can be reported on 101.

As the two-year anniversary of missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague’s disappearance approaches, his mother opens up about theories, potential new searches and her first grandchild.

A new coastal branch of a Suffolk sixth form has opened with hopes to broaden opportunities for young people in the area.

Education leaders gathered for a summit which heard how Suffolk is establishing itself at the forefront of a campaign to help disadvantage young people further their learning.

Wet weather is forecast for today, with flooding expected tomorrow as ‘yellow’ weather warnings for wind and rain are issued.

Cautions and convictions for knife crime in Suffolk last year reached their highest levels since 2010.

Antisocial driving in Ipswich has been targeted in an operation by Special Constables last night.

From an exciting announcement at Chantry Park to the opening of a cannabis lounge in Ipswich make sure you are up to date with our articles.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24