Wiltshire Police’s rural teams have been getting reports from the public of vehicles that look as though they are equipped for hare coursing.
So if you are out on a Springtime walk in the countryside, you are asked to keep your eyes peeled for suspicious signs that hare coursers are about. All information about this activity will be welcome.
Hare coursing is an illegal hunting activity where dogs are used to chase, kill and catch hares and cash bets are placed. Damage is frequently caused when they trespass on private land and landowners who ask hare coursers to leave are often subject to threatening behaviour.
In their bid to stop hare coursing in the county, the police are publicising a list of signs that can mean hare coursing is happening or is planned:
– Groups or convoys of vehicles in a rural area (e.g. parked in gateways, or on tracks and bridleways.)
– Coursers may walk along the edge of fields to frighten hares into the open.
– Suspect vehicles are usually estate cars, 4×4’s or vans.
– Dogs will be being transported, but not always in every vehicle. There may be signs left in vehicles that dogs have been transported – collars, leads, and dog crates.
Walkers and landowners are told firmly: “Do not confront anyone. Call 101 to report suspicious activity or vehicles or call 999 if you can see hare coursing is taking place at that moment.”
If you are reporting suspicious activity, this is the information the police will need:
– Vehicle number plates, make, model and colour.
– Number of people and descriptions.
– Do they have dogs/equipment/firearms with them?
– Are they trespassing?
– What road are they on and direction of travel?
– Only take a photograph if you can do so safely without risk to yourself.