MP hears hare coursing poses ongoing issue

Bedfordshire PCC Olly Martins, Shadow Environment Secretary Kerry McCarthy and Ian Northern PNL-160803-152015001

Bedfordshire PCC Olly Martins, Shadow Environment Secretary Kerry McCarthy and Ian Northern PNL-160803-152015001

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The Shadow Environment Secretary visited Bedfordshire to discuss the impact of hare coursing in the county.

At the invitation of police chief Olly Martins, Kerry McCarthy MP met farmers to hear how dealing with the illegal hunting affects the policing of other rural crimes.

She said growing up in Luton gave her some insight into the challenges the force faces, adding: “Polls have shown 87 per cent of the public support the ban on hare coursing and want this cruel activity to remain illegal.”

Mr Martins and Ms McCarthy also heard how dogs are sent after Chinese Water Deer for criminals to bet on which dog will kill them.

The farmers suggested hare coursers are moving into Bedfordshire as neighbouring forces crack down on the activity.

Mr Martins admitted the issue is an ongoing challenge to his underfunded force.

He said: “It is a case of managing expectations and being realistic in our ability to disrupt this illegal activity without considerable extra resources.”

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