Action planned against those committing rural crime – poaching, hare coursing and anti-social behaviour in general is being targeted in a new initiative by Wiltshite Police in partnership with Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council that could lead to culprits being given an anti-social behaviour order.
New procedures are being put in place, so that details of those found causing damage to land, hare coursing, poaching or general anti-social behaviour on land across the county, will be taken and shared with the local council.
Appropriate proceedings will then be taken which could include anti-social behaviour order proceedings following the police link up with the county’s Community Safety Partnerships organisation.
Sergeant Vincent Logue, who runs the Rural Crime Team, told Marlborough News Online: ” I am very grateful to both Community Safety Partnerships for their support in this new procedure.”
“We approached them not only for support to pursue ASBOs for persistent hare coursers but also funding to help us achieve results, and their response has been great. Criminals coming to Wiltshire to commit rural crime need to know that with this multi-agency approach, there will be consequences.”
Sergeant Logue, formerly stationed in Marlborough, added:
“Those who receive ASBOs will find stringent conditions being attached which will not only curtail the activities of the individual criminal but will make it less likely for that individual’s co-offenders to come to Wiltshire to engage in criminal activity.”
A particular police focus will be hare coursing, which often causes criminal damage and sometimes intimidation of land owners.
Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership has funded the purchase of micro-chip readers to help identify dogs and provided warning notices which will be issued by officers to assist in securing action against persistent offenders.
Maggie Rae, corporate director of Wiltshire Council, who chairs the Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership, said:
“Wiltshire is a rural county and as such experiences crime and anti-social behaviours that are specific to our rural communities and detrimental to our countryside.”
“Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership is pleased to be supporting this initiative in particular addressing the problem of hare coursing in both Swindon and Wiltshire.”