Police in Cambridgeshire have released a video of a vehicle getting crushed in a bid to deter hare coursers.
The 60-second clip shows a space grey 4×4 Jeep Cherokee being crushed at a facility as part of Cambridgeshire police’s efforts to tackle gangs descending on the county’s farms.
“Officers have the power to seize your vehicle if you take part in hare coursing. This is what could happen as a result,” says a message accompanying the video on the force’s Facebook page.
Officers have the power to seize your vehicle if you take part in hare coursing. This is what could happen as a result.
Posted by Cambridgeshire Constabulary on Friday, April 21, 2017
Between October 2016 and January, more than 830 cases of illegal hare coursing have been reported in the county. During this period, five dogs and 31 vehicles were seized and 73 people were reported.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary re-launched its Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) – a group of officers dedicated to fighting hare coursing and rural theft – in April last year.
Chief Inspector James Sutherland said: “Tackling hare coursing is a priority for the RCAT. It can damage crops, harm animal welfare and threaten the rural economy. At times it is also linked to threatening behaviour and even violence.
“Officers have off-road vehicles at their disposal and air support from the police helicopter. We have been using dispersal powers and will continue to seek to prosecute coursers wherever possible.
“We want the rural community to know that we are behind them and that we are taking the issue incredibly seriously. Our goal is simple – we want to drive hare coursing out of Cambridgeshire.”
Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, police officers can seize a vehicle if it is believed to be being used as part of hare coursing activity.
An application can then be made to the courts to crush the vehicle.