Hare coursing down across Cambridgeshire by 19 per cent as first civil injunctions are served against the crime

PUBLISHED: 16:52 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 10 April 2019

Hare coursing across Cambridgeshire has been cut by 19 per cent this year due to four civil injunctions being secured by police, it has been revealed. Pictured is Mark Loveridge, John Jefford, James Crickmore and Denny Loveridge. Picture: CAMBS POLICE.

Hare coursing across Cambridgeshire has been cut by 19 per cent this year due to four civil injunctions being secured by police, it has been revealed. Pictured is Mark Loveridge, John Jefford, James Crickmore and Denny Loveridge. Picture: CAMBS POLICE.

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Hare coursing across Cambridgeshire has been cut by 19 per cent this year due to four civil injunctions being secured by police, it has been revealed.

Hare coursing has been cut by 19 per cent in Cambridgeshire this year due to four civil injunctions being secured by police, it has been revealed. Picture: CAMBS POLICEHare coursing has been cut by 19 per cent in Cambridgeshire this year due to four civil injunctions being secured by police, it has been revealed. Picture: CAMBS POLICE

It was a first for the force to serve the injunctions against hare coursers in the county who are banned from entering any farm land during the main season.

Denny Loveridge, James Crickmore, John Jefford and Mark Loveridge were caught by police using a new database designed to track and convict suspected hare coursers.

The injunctions will mean the men cannot enter any farm land in Cambridgeshire between July 31 and March 31, the months of the hare coursing season.

They will be in place for three years.

It comes as police and farmers have spoken of the ongoing battle to stop illegal hare coursing in the Fens.

The sport - where the dog that catches the hare or makes it turn the most number of times wins - became illegal in the UK in 2004.

However, Cambs Police said it still dealt with groups of men with dogs on the county’s farms on a regular basis.

In a post on social media, the rural crime team said that they would now be “concentrating on summer activities”.

“We have cut hare coursing by 19 per cent this year due to securing four civil injunctions against the main offenders.

“Expect to see more warrants and operations from the team.”

Last year hare coursers who had tried to enter fields got their cars stuck in ditches during their panic to escape the area.

One vehicle in Christchurch was seized and crushed by officers after trespassers attempted to get on the land on November 29, while a similar incident happened in South Cambridgeshire with two vehicles getting caught.

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said he wanted to reassure the rural community that he would continue to support measures to tackle rural crime.

He spoke in the House of Lords last month about how hare coursing is “increasing the fear of crime” in rural communities.

Mr Ablewhite said: “Hare coursing continues to be a big problem in Cambridgeshire, threatening local livelihoods, putting pressure on policing resources and increasing the fear of crime within our rural communities.”

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