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Police receive "dozens" of hare coursing reports in a week

Rural property owners should be on the lookout after more than 40 hare coursing incidents were reported in a week across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. 
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Over 40 hare coursing and poaching incidents were reported across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire within a week (Picture: Cambs police)

Between January 21 and January 27, there were 43 reports of poaching and hare coursing across the county, including eight incidents in Peterborough alone.

In other areas the number of incidents were: 

  • Huntingdonshire – 12 
  • East Cambs – 4 
  • Fenland – 20 
  • South Cambs – 4 

Hare coursing is where people use dogs to chase, catch and kill hares. Hunting wild mammals with a dog is illegal in the UK under the Hunting Act 2004. 

Police have issued a series of tips from the Rural Crime Action Team on how to try and deter criminals from coursing on your land: 

  • Consider installing concrete barriers to field entrances  

  • Block/secure private road access  

  • Trench around fields or use earth mounds to reduce unwanted access  

  • Keep gates locked with good quality closed shackle or covered padlocks. 

  • Defensive planting, like thorny hedging, act as natural barriers around fields 

A spokesperson for the force said: “Cambridgeshire’s flat and rural landscape can make it a popular area for hare coursing. We urge members of the public to help us clamp down on hare coursing by looking out for: 

  • groups of vehicles parked in rural areas, particularly by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, on a farm track or bridleway 

  • estate cars, four wheel drives or vans with dogs inside 

  • groups of people using binoculars to spot hares. 

“If you witness hare coursing in progress, please contact us immediately on 999. 

“Anyone found to be involved in hare coursing can receive a fine of up to £5,000 by a Magistrates Court. Officers are also authorised to seize and detain vehicles until a court hearing, under  section 30 of the Game Act 1831.” 

More information on rural crime can be found here