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MP calls for cross-departmental summit to tackle hare coursing

MP Graham Stuart has called for the Home Office, Defra and the Ministry of Justice to come together for a special summit to tackle the ‘blight’ of hare coursing.

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MP calls for cross-departmental summit to tackle hare coursing

Mr Stuart, who represents Beverley and Holderness, has already written to the Minister for Rural Crime, Victoria Atkins, to ask her to convene the cross-departmental meeting.

 

He made the decision to take action after meeting local farmers through Holderness Farm Watch and the NFU, who told him about their concerns over current levels of rural crime and their fears about having to face down trespassers by themselves.

 

In 2017, South Cambridgeshire farmer Will Wombwell was battered with a metal bar after confronting a gang of hare coursers on his land.


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Mr Stuart said: “Rural crime, and hare coursing in particular, is a blight on many constituencies with flat, wide open areas of arable land.

 

“The police are doing their best to stop the criminals coming into the countryside to commit the crime of hare coursing, but in many instances they do not have the tools they need.

 

“I think we can do better, and if we bring together all the relevant Government departments with MPs, farmers and the CLA, we can work out a better way of bringing hare coursing to an end.”

 

Intervention

 

Libby Bateman, the CLA’s rural adviser, welcomed Mr Stuart’s intervention.

 

She said: “Hare coursing is not simply chasing wildlife around a field, it is high-stakes illegal betting, and participants are often involved in other criminal activity.

 

“Farmers, landowners and police officers are working hard to tackle the problem through Operation Galileo, but legislative change is needed to prevent repeat offending by these thugs.”

REPORTING CRIME

If you see any suspicious behaviour or evidence of crime, report it to the police on 101.

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