Po­lice op­er­a­tion will tar­get hare-cours­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Award For Olympic Hero - by Michael DeFroand mde­froand@thek­m­group.co.uk

PO­LICE are to crack down on il­le­gal hare-cours­ing events.

The clam­p­down, which Kent Po­lice are call­ing Op­er­a­tion Or­chard, starts this Sun­day with ded­i­cated of­fi­cers from Ten­ter­den and Lydd on the look­out for par­tic­i­pants.

Sgt Rachel McNeil said: “It will last for a 10-week pe­riod and in­volves the south Weald, that is places such as Ap­ple­dore, Ham­street, Ware­hourne, Isle of Oxney, Wit­ter­sham and Stone.

“It will pre­dom­i­nantly in­volve hare cours­ing, but also crim­i­nal dam­age to farm land and build­ings.”

She added: “Th­ese are usu­ally or­gan­ised events whereby peo­ple al­low their dogs to chase and kill hares. From time to time, this has in­volved vi­o­lent con­fronta­tions be­tween landown­ers and the peo­ple or­gan­is­ing the events, due to tres­pass­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to Sgt McNeil, the po­lice can act un­der such laws as the Hunt­ing Act 2004 and the Night Poach­ing Act 1828, among oth­ers.

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