Hare coursers stopped at Soham and at Christchurch near March in latest crackdown by Cambridgeshire police

PUBLISHED: 11:58 15 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:59 15 December 2015

Cambs hare coursers

Cambs hare coursers

Archant

A fresh outbreak of hare coursing in Cambridgeshire has seen police stop and detain suspects in Soham and at Christchurch near March.

In Northfield Road, Soham, three men with dogs were intercepted and detained.

Cambs hare coursersCambs hare coursers

And at Christchurch stopped and questioned others thought to have been involved in the illegal ‘sport’.

A spokesman for East Cambs Police said those arrested at Soham “were from outside of our force area and will return to Kent having been reported for summons for the offences of coursing and pursuit of game on land.”

PC Gerry Cronin, investigating the case, is asking any witnesses to the event to come forward to provide their evidence.

He said: “We are aware of the distress and anger this criminality causes our rural farming community and we’re determined to send out the message that it won’t be tolerated”

Cambs hare coursersCambs hare coursers

“Coursing offences are committed in the vast majority of circumstances by people visiting the county from elsewhere in the country.

“We will continue to send out a message that East Cambridgeshire is not a happy venue for cross border criminality.”

Last week neighbouring Lincs Police stopped and questioned 17 men suspected of illegal hare coursing as part of a county wide crackdown.

And last month a police helicopter swooped on six men held by police following reports of hare coursing at Ten Mile Bank near Littleport. All six offenders – from Wales, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Berkshire- were reported to court for trespass in pursuit of game.

Since 2005, hare coursing has been banned in the UK with many events held without the permission of the landowner.

Cambs Police say it is not uncommon for intimidation and threats of violence to be used when offenders are disturbed.

“For this reason the police would always advise landowners to call 999 and observe from a safe distance rather than engaging directly with suspected coursers,” said a force spokesman.

“Hare coursing has in the past been statistically linked with farm equipment theft, burglaries and other forms of criminal activity.

“It is also a form of anti-social behaviour in its own right and as such Cambridgeshire Police is committed to tackling it whenever and wherever it occurs.”

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