Three men caught hare coursing and illegally hunting in Wiltshire

Three men caught hare coursing and illegally hunting in Wiltshire

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 11:06am 8th September 2016. (Updated at 11:12am 8th September 2016)

Trio ordered to pay around £2,000 in fines,court costs and compensation for committing various rural crimes in Stapleford and Bowerchalke.

There's been another successful attempt by Wiltshire Police to tackle rural crime.

Three men have been ordered to pay around two thousand pounds in fines, court costs and compensation for criminal damage and hare coursing at Stapleford and in the Chalke Valley.

27 year old Lee Wells from West Wellow was seen damaging a fence at farmland near Stapleford last Friday. (2nd September) Police believe he was trying to carry out hare coursing.

Wells (pictured below) was given a £180 fine ordered to pay £500 in compensation as well as court costs.

Lee Cooper ( Wiltshire Police)

Meanwhile 34 year old Lee Cooper from Poole pleaded guilty to hare coursing on farmland at Bowerchalke. He pleaded guilty to offences under the Hunting Act and Road traffic act and was ordred to pay a fine of £700 along with £155 costs

Kalup Hughes, also from Poole, who was with Cooper at the time fo the offence was given a £185 fine and £115 costs for hunting a brown hare using a dog.

PC Matt Holland, the Community Coordinator for the South Wiltshire area said:

"We fully recognise the impact this type of offence has on our rural communities. It is at this time of the year where we see an increase in a range of different hunting offences.

"Officers from South Wiltshire and the Salisbury Plain area are committed to continue working with our neighbouring force colleagues to target and prosecute people engaged in unlawful hunting and the betting activities linked to this.

"We will continue to run specific operations with landowners and other forces. We are also working with the Crown Prosecution Service to explore methods of applying for court orders to ban hare coursing repeat offenders from entering Wiltshire."

The force is asking all landowners affected by these issues to call the police to report rural crime on 101 or 999 if damage is being caused at the time.

PC Matt Holland says it is important to get s much information as possible:

"Please provide a full description of any vehicle, people or dogs seen and an exact location so that officers will be able to catch the offenders.

"Please report all rural crime to us even after the event on 101 so we can collate areas of activity and target them."

If you haven't already signed up to our Wiltshire and Swindon community messaging system, you can do so for free at www.wiltsmessaging.co.uk. Local officers and the Rural Crime Team send out free messages (as emails, texts and voicemails) about local police and crime matters. This could be a warning about potential hare coursing in the area, for example, enabling you to try and deter offenders if they are near your land.

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