Suspected hare courses torch car on farmland

Suspected hare courses set a car alight on a farmer's field near Cambridge (Photo: Cambridgeshire Police)
Suspected hare courses set a car alight on a farmer's field near Cambridge (Photo: Cambridgeshire Police)

Suspected hare courses have torched a car on farmland while destroying the field in the process.

The incident happened on Sunday (11 August) near Long Road in Comberton, Cambridgeshire.

Four people were arrested at a pub and four dogs seized, according to Cambridgeshire Police.

However, the force said the men had to be released because no one wanted to give a witness statement against them.



It comes as the public are encouraged to do their part for rural communities and help tackle hare coursing.

The season typically starts in September when fields have been harvested.



However, the weather this year has meant many have already been cut and are now prime surfaces for the blood sport.

Over the past year police were called to 1,265 incidents. In the past month, the force control room have received 34 calls to courses operating throughout east and south Cambridgeshire as well as Fenland.

The figure is expected to rise over the coming months.

Hare coursing, illegal under the Hunting Act 2004, causes damage to crops, harms animals and threatens the rural community, often resulting in intimidation and in some cases violence.

In October last year four hare coursers were handed the Cambridgeshire’s first county court injunction, banning them from entering any farm land from July until March.

DC Tom Nuttall said: “Hare coursing continues to be one of the biggest issues our rural communities face.

“Tackling it remains a priority for the Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) and we will continue to do what we can to bring those responsible to justice but we need your help.



“The most obvious sign of hare coursing is a group of vehicles parked in a rural area with dogs, perhaps by a gateway to farmland or on a grass verge, and I would urge people to report any suspicions, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

“Those caught could face a criminal behaviour order, seizure of vehicles and other property, a fine and a driving ban.”

The appeal is part of our #SaferSummer campaign, which aims to prevent crime and keep people safe during the school holidays.

Landowners are urged to consider blocking entrances to their fields with ditches, fencing or trees or even barriers like barrels filled with concrete.

Anyone who sees hare coursing taking place is asked to contact police immediately on 999 and provide officers with a description of the people involved, any registration numbers and vehicle descriptions and the location and direction of travel.