Ton of trouble at start of hare coursing season in South Holland

GALILEO STATISTICS: PC Nick Willey, rural and wildlife crime officer, with Chief Inspector Jim Tyner and a drone available to hunt hare coursers across South Holland.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
GALILEO STATISTICS: PC Nick Willey, rural and wildlife crime officer, with Chief Inspector Jim Tyner and a drone available to hunt hare coursers across South Holland. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Number of incidents across district reached 100 by September 25, police confirm
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There have exactly 100 reports of hare coursing across the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian news area in the last four weeks, according to Lincolnshire Police.

During the first 25 days of Operation Galileo, the force’s countywide campaign to tackle gangs of criminals targeting Lincolnshire to hunt hares with dogs across farmland and the countryside, police dealt with 156 incidents across the county.

Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, force lead on rural crime, also revealed that police were dealing with “an average of six or seven incidents a day” across Lincolnshire as the hare coursing season enters its second month this weekend.

“From September 1 to September 25, there have been 156 hare coursing incidents recorded force-wide,” Chief Insp Tyner said.

“There were six days when there were no reported incidents recorded and other days when there was a peak in demand.

“For example, on Saturday, September 3, we saw 18 incidents and on Tuesday, September 20, there were 22 incidents recorded in one day.

From September 1 to September 25, there were six days when there were no reported incidents recorded and other days when there was a peak in demand

Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, force lead on rural crime, Lincolnshire Police

“This is a slight increase from 124 incidents during the same period in the previous year and of the incidents this year, 103 were reports of hare coursing in progress, 51 were for information only and two were false calls with good intent.”

Police confirmed there were 64 incidents across South Holland, including Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Crowland, 14 in the Bourne area, eight in Deeping St James and 14 in rural areas near Boston, such as Bicker, Frampton, Kirton, Swineshead and Wyberton.

So far, the only arrests made by police were on September 4 when three men from Durham were suspected of hare coursing in Louth.

Police seized three dogs and a vehicle, while the men were released on police bail while investigations continue.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, who met farmers, NFU officals and police for talks about hare coursing in Spalding last Friday, said: “One of the concerns raised by farmers and landowners was that dogs and vehicles needed to be confiscated as a deterrent.

“This would also take away the means by which hare coursers go about their business and the police feel that they’ve had some success in that sphere.

“But it’s very early days in the hare coursing season and I remain absolutely committed that we should do all we can to catch, prosecute and deter people from doing it in the first place.”

Talks over hare coursing at NFU meeting in Spalding