It is time to stop the cruel act of hare coursing

From left: Libby Bateman (CLA North Adviser), Clive Grunshaw (Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner), Brent Jackson (owner of smallholding in Pilling), Lorraine Ellwood (Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator at Lancashire Constabulary) and Barbara Mackie (CLA Lancashire Branch Committee Member).
From left: Libby Bateman (CLA North Adviser), Clive Grunshaw (Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner), Brent Jackson (owner of smallholding in Pilling), Lorraine Ellwood (Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator at Lancashire Constabulary) and Barbara Mackie (CLA Lancashire Branch Committee Member).

People are being warned they will be prosecuted if they take part in the illegal act of hare coursing.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), in partnership with Lancashire Police, has created signs warning of the consequences of using greyhounds to chase hares, and encouraging people to report it.

The latest version of these signs incorporates a generic 101 number for the public to report any suspicious activity as hare coursing is typically undertaken by travelling criminals.

Owner of a smallholding in Pilling, Brent Jackson, has recently suffered from hare coursing incidents on his land.

He said: “We are encouraging local landowners and farmers to help put up signs in areas used by ramblers and visitors.

“Cracking down on this terrible crime relies on everyone pulling together to rid our countryside of this scourge.”

CLA members and local volunteers are now encouraged to display these signs across the region in prominent places such as footpaths.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “I’m delighted we have been able to work together with our partners in the CLA on this. It’s really important that people living in rural communities help us spot when activity such as hare coursing and other wildlife crime is taking place.

“In rural areas crimes are harder to spot and we really do want local people to be on the lookout for anything they think may be suspicious and tell the police about it.

“Protecting our rural communities is as much a priority for me and Lancashire Constabulary as it is policing our more urban towns and cities and this is just one of the many activities taking place in rural areas.”

CLA North adviser Libby Bateman said: “With our latest launch in Lancashire we are hoping to build on the successes of our campaigning in the Humberside area where hare coursing criminals have been brought to justice.

“Calls from the public really do make a vital difference as it provides important intelligence that helps the police to coordinate their resources to combat rural crime more effectively.”

Lorraine Ellwood, rural and wildlife crime coordinator at Lancashire Constabulary, said: “Criminals involved in this illegal activity – which is banned - often threaten landowners and damage property. These criminal gangs are still travelling to our area, trespassing on private farmland to chase hares with dogs.

“The only way to stop these criminals is to report any suspicious activity to the police.”