A 31-year-old man from Yorkshire has been charged with hare coursing on farmland.
A North Yorkshire Police officer was on routine patrol near Great Edstone, in Ryedale, before 1am on Sunday, November 22nd. He spotted lamps flashing across fields.
The officer then found a parked car with a man sitting inside. Nearby was another man, carrying a lamp, a dead hare, and with a lurcher dog on a lead.
Police arrested the man with the dog and he was taken to custody. The 31-year-old was subsequently charged with hunting a wild mammal with dogs, and possessing a lock knife, which was found on him during a search.
He is due to appear in court next month. In the meantime, his bail conditions prevent him from entering the county of North Yorkshire.
In addition, police issued COVID-19 fixed penalty notices to both, for contravening the requirement not to leave the place where they are living.
Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce launched a campaign urging members of the public to report any suspicious activity in rural areas that could be linked to poaching, such as unusual vehicle movements or lights in darkness.
Furthermore, Police are urging the public to report if poaching is taking place.
Under Operation Figaro, North Yorkshire Police is robustly and proactively targeting poachers to put a stop to their illegal activity.
The work runs alongside Operation Galileo, a national campaign bringing together forces particularly affected by poaching.
Inspector Matt Hagen, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said officers understood the terrible impact of poaching on rural communities. He said: “Poachers often have no regard for farmers and landowners, causing thousands of pounds of damage to crops.”
“Victims are often intimidated or even threatened with violence if they challenge offenders, leaving them feeling vulnerable to further crimes, particularly in isolated areas.”
On average, police are called to more than 50 incidents of suspected poaching in North Yorkshire every month.
Incidents tend to increase significantly from August onwards, during and after harvest time.
Police warned that anyone caught poaching will be summonsed to court. Those stopped in suspicious circumstances will be issued with a community protection warning or a community protection notice – breaches of which will be prosecuted.