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Poaching Offence in our Rural Communities

Alert message sent 11/01/2021 15:49:00

Information sent on behalf of Humberside Police

A crime has been reported in your area

Dear Resident,

As your local Policing Team, we take Hare coursing and other poaching offences very seriously, We are well into the season now and calls for service began increasing. With an additional team member we are now at full strength which means we can tackle these crimes “Live time” as well as completing high visibility patrols across our patch to Detect and Deter. We work closely with local farmers and crime prevention groups to tackle these crimes. We believe the word is getting out to these illegal groups to not attend the area for such actions as our robust policing approach here in NPT is having a dramatic impact on the amount of visitors we have to the area for these types of offences…..
Operation Galileo is a national police operation in relation to the enforcement and disruption of those criminals who course hares.
Humberside Police works alongside many other forces to combat the issue as well as with other partners such as the local authority and local Farm Watch groups who are a vital source of information and our eyes in the countryside.
Our Strategy Here at NPT

•    Working with other forces and partners to identify best practice.
•    Using preventative dispersal powers and other anti-social behaviour legislation.
•    Getting the views of those who are affected by the issue and discussing different ideas.
•    Using social media to highlight what we’re doing and also raising awareness amongst the general public of this crime.
•    Each call we receive helps form a bigger picture, not just for the Humberside area but other forces, as information is shared with them and the National Wildlife Crime Unit.
•    Currently we are working closely with Lincolnshire Police with a national project.
•    Every vehicle registration number linked to hare coursing that is provided to us has a marker added to it flagging it up to other forces as these vehicles move around. This links in to both prevention and enforcement as most coursers travel some distance and many are stopped or have had vehicles seized travelling to or from the Humberside area. We can also intercept them early as they enter our counties and escort them back out.
•    In other words each time you provide a vehicle registration number of a vehicle linked to poaching, disruption is caused to the individuals concerned anywhere they travel in the country.

•    We currently have Wildlife & Rural Crime trained officers and staff across the force. Most work in rural communities and during the season have been deployed to Op Galileo on dates identified as those most likely to see increased levels of hare coursers entering the area. This has allowed us to deploy staff at the right time in the right places.
•    At least a further 20 staff were trained to undertake the National Wildlife Crime course in May  along with a local CPS prosecutor to raise the number of staff with specialist knowledge of wildlife and rural crime matters across the force to well over 60.
•    We have also started to scan dogs and where no chips are found we have notified the Local Authority where the dog’s owner resides.
•    Community protection notices are now also used and are issued in partnership with East Riding Yorkshire Council as follows,
•    Fairway letter, CPN warning, CPN notice, fine or prosecution.
•    Patrols have defaulted to the most affected areas throughout the season on dates other than dedicated days. Officers engaged on these patrols are encouraged to link in with the communities in those areas to encourage the reporting of crime, offer advice on matters other than poaching such as general crime prevention and identifying vulnerability.
•    As well as tackling hare coursing, officers engaged on operation Galileo are also on the lookout for other criminality in the isolated rural areas they carry out patrols.

What now?
We intend to keep the pressure up in the midst of the Season and are constantly looking at innovative ways of tackling the problem. Criminal Protection Notices and the scanning of dogs’ microchips offer some great opportunities to tackle the issue.
There are some landowners who continue to suffer repeated incursions by hare coursers and it is these areas we will continue to concentrate our activity the most.
A number of these landowners have provided us with some very positive feedback and have noticed our determination to tackle this type of crime in their communities and have commented that they have noticed a reduction in incidents.
This update relates only to day time hare coursing and does not include other poaching related offences which are of concern in a number of areas, particularly the issue of illegal lamping activity at night and the associated damage caused by the vehicles used being driven over crops.
Operation Zodiac is aimed at this area of wildlife crime and we will be increasing our efforts to tackle this issue using many of the tactics used during Operation Galileo.
Should you have any information please contact our force control room on 101 or if you witness an offence in progress then please call 999 with as much information as possible for example Registration plate of vehicle, exact location, descriptions of offenders.

Check out the What 3 Words App available for all mobile phones to be able to pinpoint exact locations.

Many thanks for your continued support in our fight against Rural crime.

Kind Regards

Cleethorpes Policing Team

Visit our Website to learn more about how we tackle rural & wildlife crime

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Message sent by
David Cave (Police, Police Constable, Grimsby East Haverstoe, Humberston and New Waltham Ward)

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