Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 29°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Hare coursing attack sparks rural crime warning

11:25 12 November 2012

ILLEGAL hare coursers mowed down a landowner with their car after he confronted them in a Suffolk village, before driving at a woman and then ramming another vehicle.

The man hurt in the incident, which happened yesterday morning at Hitcham, near Stowmarket, was still thought to be in hospital last night while police try to track down those responsible.

There has been shock and outrage at the attack, with one campaign group saying it re-emphasised the need for rural crime to “not be forgotten” when the new police and crime commissioners are elected later this week.

The drama unfolded in Hitcham at around 10.45am, and followed multiple reports to police earlier of hare coursers trying to operate in Flixton, Ampton, Rattlesden and Pakenham.

The landowner, in his 60s, spotted the men hare coursing on private land in the village, but when he confronted them, they drove their vehicle at him.

He suffered a back injury and a cut hand, and was later taken to West Suffolk Hospital for treatment.

Police say the men also drove their vehicle towards a woman, who was not hit, and then rammed the victims’ car before leaving in the direction of Preston St Mary.

Officers are carrying out extensive enquiries in the area and are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the vehicle used in the attack. It is described as a blue ‘T’ registration Subaru that may be extensively damaged.

Nicola Currie, regional director of the Country Land and Business Association, and who lives in Hitcham, said it was a worrying incident.

She said the family involved was “highly respected”, and she understood they had been left very shaken by the ordeal.

She said the incident also re-emphasised the importance of tackling rural crime.

“The hare coursers are vicious criminals. It is highly organised crime. It is all to do with illegal betting,” she said.

“There is an important message, with the police and crime commissioner election around the corner, and that is the importance of not forgetting rural crime.

“Police forces have got to learn to work together on this. We have got to have a regional emphasis to stamp out hare coursing.”

She said unless all forces in the region tackled the issue, hare coursing would simply be “squeezed” into those counties where it was not a policing priority.

NFU spokesman for the eastern region, Brian Finnerty, said hare coursing was an ongoing problem in the area, particularly at this time of year when crops have been harvested and conditions are ideal for the illegal activity.

He said: “The police carry out ongoing operations in East Anglia because hare coursing is a serious problem in the countryside and has been for some time.”

He said incidents like the attack in Hitcham were not as rare as people might think, adding: “Those who take part in hare coursing are often involved in other criminal activities and when they are on farmland, they are also on the look out for farm machinery, diesel or other items.

“There are some particularly nasty criminals involved in hare coursing and there is also a lot of money involved.

“It’s an ongoing concern for the rural community and when the police are sitting in a control room in a town, it’s hard for them to realise just how serious an issue this is. We would like to see a crackdown on hare coursing in the region.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101.

3 comments

  • How anybody gets pleasure out of seeing an animal ripped apart by dogs is beyond me - these sort of people lack any empathy for living creatures

    Report this comment

    Wendy Webster

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • Cynically these people have been all over the County whilst decent people were at Remembrance Day commemorations. How disrespectful

    Report this comment

    Jeremy Perkins

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • How courageous of that brave man to try and stop these awful people and where were the Police???

    Report this comment

    Val

    Monday, November 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Traffic on the A14 is being diverted using the entrance and exit slip roads. Image: Keith Mindham

The A14 at Bury St Edmunds has reopened after a woman who was spotted on the wrong side of the bridge at junction 44 was talked down by officers.

A photo of the fire in the old Fisons building, Bramford, taken by Neil Rogers.

Trains between Stowmarket and Ipswich are running at reduced speed due to “thick black smoke” coming from a fire in the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford.

The RNLI at Aldeburgh investigate an empty boat that turned up on Wednesday 24th August.

A yacht named after a lucky star had the good fortune of being rescued off the Suffolk coast today having drifted unmanned past Britain’s biggest container port.

Abellio Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles.

The average speed of trains between London and Ipswich will be cut to just over an hour in three years’ time – but the Ipswich in 60 ambition will depend on Network Rail carrying out improvement work.

Ronald King, 87, of Cedar Close, Walton-on-the-Naze

A pensioner who shot his 81-year-old wife dead at a care home has been sentenced to six years in a psychiatric hospital.

Aldeburgh beach was packed with people enjoying the sun on Wednesday 24th August.
L-R Chris and Jane Linford,Jan and Ken Garratt.

With the school summer holidays drawing to an end East Anglia’s tourist hotspots are gearing up for bumper crowds looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.

Audrey Barlow was waken to West Suffolk Hospital after the fall

The standards at a care home near Sudbury have been criticised after the death of one of their residents.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24