"Rural Crime Action Team" set up in response to hare coursing menace
Local farmers around Thriplow have told me that illegal hare coursing is a constant worry at this time of year. Illegal hare coursing brings with it damage to crops, gates, farm machinery, the risk of violence if these people are challenged, and blatant law breaking and animal cruelty.
Cambridgeshire Police have set up RCAT - the Rural Crime Action Team - to tackle the menace, which reaches a peak at this time of year.
Chief Inspector James Sutherland and I discussed this and he talked through the efforts being made, which include using new powers, air surviellance and all-terrain vehicles.
Where necessary the police now seize and securely house suspected coursing dogs in response to a specific request from the rural community to be able to do this.
Although we have ground-breaking science hubs in this part of Cambridgeshire, we also have a big agriculture based economy and our countryside is looked after by our farmers. I'm pleased to see rural crime being given the right priority, and specialist resources too, by our police service.