FEATURE: County’s farmers welcome robust message from Lincolnshire Police

Sending out the right message. Mark Leggott NFU chairman for Lincolnshire. EMN-170224-151142001
Sending out the right message. Mark Leggott NFU chairman for Lincolnshire. EMN-170224-151142001
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The chairman of Lincolnshire’s National Farmers’ Union, Mark Leggott, was on hand to see the hare courser’s car going into the crusher and was heartened that the county’s police force mean business.

Mr Leggott said: “The illegal hare coursers need the cars to commit the crime, as well as the dogs. They are driving these vehicles across our fields and causing damage to our crops and potentially affecting our livelihoods. We are very pleased to see this action and hope it is the beginning of a long line of cars being crushed because as a farming community we are abolutely at our wits’ end as to how we are going to deal with illegal hare coursing and deer poaching.”

Mr Leggott said increasingly the coursers bring vehicles onto the land to flush the hares out for the dogs, making a lot of mess.

He said: “It is getting more aggressive. The gangs are getting larger. We understand in one instance they brought a drone with them to film the hare coursing. But to have up to 50 males, possibly most with a criminal record, threatening farmers, their wives and families, it becomes very distressing to have to watch this go 
on without being able to stop it.”

He said this car being crushed was symbolic of Lincolnshire Police and the courts trying to do more to negate the problem of hare coursing, but he accepted the cars were generally cheap and the gang members would normally all chip in to buy a replacement.

Police wildlife officer Pc Nick Willey said another knock on effect was that farmers, fed up with getting the coursers on their land, were organising hare shoots, dramatically reducing the population of wild brown hares in the country.