Pc tracking down hare coursers
ILLEGAL hare coursing is being chased out of North Herts by one dedicated rural police officer. Pc Paul Marina has been using his experience as a roads policing officer to make it harder for hare coursers to travel to this area. The result has been a 95 p
ILLEGAL hare coursing is being chased out of North Herts by one dedicated rural police officer.
Pc Paul Marina has been using his experience as a roads policing officer to make it harder for hare coursers to travel to this area.
The result has been a 95 per cent decrease in illegal hare coursing locally.
Some coursers were travelling up to 200 miles and posing an increasing problem for fed-up landowners who were becoming scared to involve the police.
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Pc Marina said: "In the past some landowners were intimidated by hare coursers. They would arrive in large groups, sometimes up to 50 men with dogs and 4x4 vehicles, to chase and kill hares illegally on private land.
"This was not only worrying for the landowners themselves but also for other members of the rural community."
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Police stopped and checked vehicles carrying coursing dogs and found faults such as bald tyres and broken lights.
Drivers were given fixed penalty notices or were summonsed to court. Those with no insurance had their vehicles removed.
There were 80 hare coursing incidents reported to the police in North Herts between March 2003 and April 2004.
This number decreased to 28 in the same period a year later and since April this year only six incidents have been reported.
Pc Marina said: "A lot of the time landowners were not willing to support police action as they were concerned about the potential reprisals by the coursers.
"By using this legislation we were able to tackle this problem without directly linking any member of the public.