Warning to hare coursers after four men detained in connection with incident

A hare is pursued by two greyhounds on the final day. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

Police have issued 29 Community Protection Orders on suspected hare coursers and seized 27 dogs in Norfolk since September - Credit: PA

Four men were detained on suspicion of hare coursing and were also issued fixed penalty notices for breaching Covid restrictions.

Police were called at 8.30am on Tuesday, January 5 to reports of three vehicles believed to be involved in hare coursing on Barroway Drive in Downham Market.

Officers attended but the suspected hare coursers had left the scene. 

But with the help of local farmers, officers carried out proactive patrols in the area and detained four men at around 10.30am in the Downham Market and Outwell area.

A police spokesperson said: "All four men were interviewed under caution and have since been reported for trespass in the pursuit of game.

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"All four were also issued fixed penalty notices for Covid breaches."

Hare coursers typically become active after the harvest when as large tracts of land are left without standing crops. It sees greyhounds and other 'sight' hounds, such as lurchers, chasing a hare by sight, not scent.

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Hare coursing has been illegal for more than a decade, since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004.

PC Chris Shelley from the Rural Crime Team said: “This incident was an excellent example of how important it is for officers to work with the farming community to tackle hare coursing.

"Hare coursing has a terrible impact on our rural communities, it damages property, threatens people's livelihoods and subjects people and families to fear and intimidation.

"It's an issue we take very seriously indeed and we will take prompt and robust action to prevent this happening in Norfolk, and pursue anybody committing this crime.

"If you witness this crime in action or have information about illegal hare coursing, please share this with us so we can work together to catch those responsible.”

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