Protecting our local wildlife – Three hare coursers arrested and seven others summons to appear in court
East Riding of Yorkshire
In recent weeks we have seen the ongoing issue of people travelling to our area to commit the wildlife crime of hare coursing.
Hare coursing is barbaric and illegal and as a sport is banned. With no regard for the law, criminal gangs are still travelling to our area, despite the national lockdown, and trespassing on private farmland to hunt hares with dogs.
Wildlife & Rural Crime Sergeant Jenna Jones, leading the new Rural Task Force, said, “We are continuing to receive reports each weekend of groups of people and dogs on private land across the East Riding.
“These reports are invaluable to us as we are deployed to locate and challenge those responsible.”
Yesterday (Wednesday 17 February) three men were arrested on suspicion of hunting with dogs when they were reported by a resident near Grimbthorpe (near Bubwith north of Howden).
This initial report came from a local resident however was quickly disseminated around the Farmwatch community in the area our Rural Task Force was sent to action with one of our four Rural Task Force officers, PC Kevin Jones first to respond co-ordinating the incident with further support from the Farmwatch community, neighbourhood/patrol and traffic officers.
The regional Air Support NPAS21 helicopter came to assist with the search for the offenders and assisted in detaining two suspects and the NPAS84 fixed wing plane also assisted to detain the final, third, suspect.
With Farmwatch community members passing regular updates and assisting officers on the ground with movement across land this was truly a joint effort that resulted in not only the arrest of the three men but the seizure of a VW Caddy van and three dogs were also seized under the Hunting Act.
The men have been questioned and released under investigation as our enquiries continue.
Sergeant Jones continued, “We thank the local community and members of Farmwatch who assisted us during this incident.
“Being a key part of Farmwatch allows us to have eyes and ears in some of our remote locations and we will continue to grow on this partnership work within our farming community to assist with the disruption of rural, wildlife and heritage crime.
“Throughout the winter months we have had some good results with seven men due to appear in court on charges of hare coursing on land Wetwang on 4 October, Rotsea (near Cranswick) on 1 November and Nafferton on 15 November.
“These results send a clear message to those who are thinking about coming into the East Riding of Yorkshire to commit wildlife crime. We will take positive action on every occasion, and will look at utilising all the available legislation to prevent, deter and prosecute those who decide to engage in criminality around our countryside and to protect our rural community.
“Wherever we have the evidence we will prosecute offenders and we welcome the help of our rural communities in letting us know of incidents in their area. If people see anything suspicious they should always call 101 to report their concern to us.”
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Read more about how we tackle wildlife and rural crime and to get rural crime prevention advice: https://www.humberside.police.uk/wildlife-and-rural-crime