Community Police in the Bourne Valley
COMMUNITY POLICING – November 2017
Hare coursing and Poaching, All areas of East Wiltshire.
Increasing activity and reports to Police regarding hare coursing within East Wiltshire has occurred since 1st September 2017. A total of forty four storm logs refer. Many of these have occurred in the Upavon area, but also include damage to farmland at Wilton, incidents at Stanton St Bernard, Manningford Bohune and All Cannings. Vehicles of interest in relation to these offences include a green Landrover Defender, a green Honda CRV, a blue Subaru and red Landrover.
A policing operation was conducted daytime on Wednesday 27th September by members of the East Community Policing and the Rural Crime Team, in partnership with a number of farmers and gamekeepers who assisted as spotters for the area.
The event resulted in a number of vehicles and occupants being subject to stop searches. No incidents of coursing occurred during this time but intelligence was gathered in relation to other incidents involving a van seen at Roundway, an area where we experience theft from vehicles. This vehicle and its occupant were located at Broad Hinton during our area search.
Improved partnership working has resulted via the use of two Whatsapp groups established with the farming community for these areas. This has enabled immediate responses by officers on the team to alerts of suspicious and coursing activity. We have requested permissions for Whatsapp downloads to our works mobile phones for all officer access.
Two males from Somerset were arrested and subsequently charged with offences concerning The Prevention of Poaching Act 1862, following an incident on 7th October 2017. Officers from the East Community Policing Team were alerted by members of the public reporting suspicious activity by the occupants to a vehicle, located during an area search.
Two suspects to daytime trespass in pursuit of game are under investigation regarding offences identified in the Pewsey Vale area.
Pc Marc JACKSON of the Rural Crime Team has recently launched Operation Artemis in a bid to tackle all aspects of poaching across the county.
The public are encouraged to report all incidents of poaching to help build a better intelligence picture and enable our officers to target offenders through rural operations.
The operation will also aim to advise our rural communities how they can best prevent and disrupt poaching activity on their land.
The operation sits under the nationally recognised poaching operation Project Trespass which aims to coordinate action across England and Wales through prevention, intelligence, enforcement and reassurance.
Rural Crime Officer PC Marc Jackson said: “As part of the rural crime partnership we have listened to the concerns of landowners, farmers, game keepers and agricultural workers within Wiltshire.
“We understand the impact poaching has on their livelihoods and the resulting fear of crime that comes from this.
“We want Operation Artemis to reassure our rural communities that we do take poaching seriously, and anybody found to be committing such offences here will be dealt with robustly. Wiltshire is not a soft touch and we will use the full legislation powers that have been given to us as the police.
“The image of poaching has drastically changed over the years. The idea of poachers just taking one for the pot is no longer the case.
“Many of the groups involved are very organised and travel vast distances, across numerous counties to participate in poaching.
“Often poaching involves vast amounts of money through illegal betting and can be connected to other crimes like burglaries, thefts and can involve intimidation and violence towards landowners and gamekeepers.”
Poaching becomes more frequent when the harvests come down at the end of the summer, peaking in October and December. This year harvests have been early so potential poachers can access the fields earlier than usual meaning we are already seeing an increase in poaching in September.
Poaching can take many forms, from hare coursing, shooting deer at night to using catapults to take pheasants.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “Wiltshire is a rural county and those living in isolated locations can be vulnerable to crime types that do not affect urban areas.
“It is important that the Force police rural crime as part of its overall policing.
“Rural crime can have a huge impact on local people and businesses. I welcome this new operation and applaud the ongoing work being done by the Rural Crime Team and the Wiltshire Rural Crime Partnership to help keep Wiltshire safe.”
When reporting incidents, call 101 and quote ‘Operation Artemis’. If a crime is in progress call 999.
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If you wish further detail please contact your local officers -
PCSO Will Todd & PC Lucy Wileman
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
Pc Lucy Wileman
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