TWO hare coursers have been handed ASBOs to stop them practicing
the illegal sport on farmland in Cambridgeshire.
George Lee, 24, and John Bruce, 39, both of Belvedere, Kent, were
caught hare coursing on land near Littleport on Wednesday, December
27, by Cambridgeshire police Rural Community Action Team (RCAT).
The pair were spotted by a member of the public, and were arrested
with help from the force's helicopter.
They were fined £650 and ordered to pay £60 costs when
they appeared at Cambridge Magistrates' Court earlier this month,
and have now been given post-conviction ASBOs which ban them from
entering Cambridgeshire, Suffolk or Norfolk to take part in sport
In a separate incident, four men from County Durham, were reported
to the court on suspicion of hare coursing following an incident
in Swaffham Prior on December 28.
Sgt Ed McNeill, who leads Operation Dornier, the crackdown on hare
coursing in Cambridgeshire, said: "These latest incidents show
hare coursing is still a problem and there are a number of people
who still think it is acceptable to break the law by taking part.
"I would say to those people that our hard work will continue and
we will catch you. Hare coursing is not only illegal but also extremely
disruptive for the rural community."
RCAT has been boosted by the addition of a new officer, PCSO Tim
Gawler, who swells the team to seven.
Sgt McNeill added: "The force takes rural issues extremely seriously
and we are committed to reducing crime in and around the rural areas
of the county."
Operation Dornier has been one of the force's success stories over
the last year, leading to a 97 per cent fall in hare coursing incidents
since it started in 2004, compared to the previous two years.
Anyone with any information about hare coursing can call the RCAT
hotline on (01480) 422700