Four men have been handed suspended jail sentences, banned from keeping dogs for five years and issued criminal behaviour orders with strict conditions in the toughest punishments handed out yet for hare coursing in Lincolnshire.
They were arrested by our Rural Crime officersfollowing a short pursuit for hare coursing in the Eastern Road area of Spalding on 9 November, before being charged with several offences.
They appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court earlier this week. All four previously pleaded guilty to the offences.
The four convicted:
Terry Smith, aged 40, of Oxney Road, Peterborough.
Nelson Loveridge, aged 38, of Maltmas Drove, Friday Bridge, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
Stacey Smith, aged 39, of Baulkins Drove, Sutton St James.
Danny Rainford, aged 33, of Seadyke Bank, Murrow, Cambridgeshire.
They received four months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months, a five year criminal behaviour order not to enter Lincolnshire during the hare coursing season and be on land with a sight hound or be in company with any person with such a dog without permission. They have also received a five year disqualification from keeping dogs, disqualified from driving for six months, all items used in connection with the offence have been forfeited, including their vehicle and their dogs, They have also each received fines of £239.
Stacy Smith, Nelson Loveridge and Danny Rainford have been required to pay £3586 to recover the kennelling costs.
Rural Crime Action Team Sergeant Deb Nunn said: “This is an amazing result and a first for Lincolnshire.
“We will not tolerate hare coursing in our county and take all reports seriously.
“We continue to investigate and respond to reports of hare coursing across our county. Offenders are often linked to organised crime groups and are known to commit a wide range of criminal offences against the community as a whole, as well as placing officers and the public at risk when failing to stop for police.
“We will investigate any criminal activity reported to us and we thank the public for their support in reporting crimes.”
These good results are a mixture of the introduction of our Rural Crime Action Team into our Specialist Operations Department, new hare coursing legislation and a national trend in the decline of hare coursing.
The Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) were put in place to patrol and target rural crime including hare coursing, wildlife crime, arson, burglary and theft. They also offer crime prevention advice.
As part of our force priorities, we continue with Operation Galileo to tackle rural crime. Operation Galileo is supported by a total of 32 forces nationally and works with partner agencies to deter and disrupt criminality such as hare coursing.
We continue to investigate all reports of rural crime.
However, we want to warn members of the public not to approach anyone you suspect of hare coursing, and please do not put yourself at risk.
If you see any live incidents of hare coursing taking place, please call us on 999, and note any vehicle descriptions or number plates, if you can.
If you have any other information to help us tackle hare coursing in our county, please call us on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.