Police target hare coursers and drivers damaging Leicestershire’s countryside

Police have vowed to crack down on those responsible recently for causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to fields, crops and fences in the Leicestershire countryside.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 9:57 am
Damage caused by hare coursers or anti-social drivers to a field in Leicestershire EMN-211223-095213001

Officers suspect the culprits are a combination of people doing illegal hare coursing and other driving 4x4 vehicles in an anti-social manner.

They have appealed to landowners and witnesses to report incidents and vowed to bring the offenders to justice.

A spokesperson for the Leicestershire and Rutland Rutal Policing Team said: “On a daily basis, we are receiving more and more reports of significant criminal damage to fields, drilled crops and field boundaries, hedges and gates.

Damage caused by hare coursers or anti-social drivers to a field in Leicestershire EMN-211223-095203001

“Landowners and farmers are being targeted on a nightly basis and are subject to hundreds and thousands of pounds worth of damage.

“It is simply unacceptable.”

In a message to people causing the damage in rural communities, the spokesperson added: “Our hard working British farmers deserve better.

“They work 365 days a year to earn a living and this behaviour is impacting them not only financially, but it is mentally and physically exhausting for them.

Damage caused by hare coursers or anti-social drivers to a field in Leicestershire EMN-211223-095143001

“We are committed to bringing offenders to justice.

“We need evidence to prosecute and disrupt.

“Please continue to report things to us and provide as much information as you can, such as vehicle details, descriptions and directions of travel.

“Powers are afforded to us to deal with these issues that include vehicle and dog seizure and forfeiture orders.”

Damage caused by hare coursers or anti-social drivers to a field in Leicestershire EMN-211223-095153001

Victims and witnesses are urged to call police on 999, in an emergency, or 101.