James Herrick: Farms – a Mecca for hare coursers and thieves

“Have you seen? They’ve been again.”

Unfortunately, this has become quite a familiar greeting from my dad upon my arrival to the farm of a morning. ‘

“They” is a reference to the plague of hare coursers that enjoy making our part of the world their sporting Mecca.

While our farm is not overly accessible to a mob of rogue hare coursers, our arable farming neighbours seem to have become an easy target.

They are in the unfortunate position of having a lot of road frontage, large fields and reams of willing participants.

About the author

James Herrick
James Herrick is based on his family’s suckler beef and arable farm in Leicestershire. A passionate conservationist, he’s keen on using technology to maximise agriculture’s profitability and lessen its impact on the environment. Away from the farm he likes to compete in triathlons and endurance races.
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Despite multiple attempts at restricting access with locks, chains and blockades, it seems the only thing that is more persistent than them is the efforts of their undesirable visitors.

See also: James Herrick – don’t be embarrassed to take time off 

I’m not sure whether it’s due to an increase in rural crime, or the effectiveness of social media platforms at informing those around us of our misfortune, but it does seem lately that rural crime has become more targeted and less opportunistic.

For me, one of the most baffling violations is the theft of GPS equipment from tractors. As a high-value, in-demand and relatively easily accessible product, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why they top a thief’s hit-list.

It does intrigue me, however, that something with the ability to put your machine within 2cm of its last pass, year after year, can vanish without a trace and be seemingly undetectable. After all, they are pretty useless without a signal, right?

I’m sure many equipment manufacturers are able to come up with a plethora of excuses about why they are unable to pursue stolen products, but surely it’s about time they bucked up their ideas and got a handle on the situation. Or maybe it’s the case that it is more profitable not to?

I can’t begin to imagine the sickening feeling of violation that must be felt by those unfortunate enough to fall victim to rural crime and, quite frankly, I don’t want to.

Although we shouldn’t have to, it seems we must all look at our on-farm security with a little more scrutiny, and hope we are able to stay one step ahead of the racketeers looking for a quick buck.