On the 5th March 2019, Heidi Allen MP met with the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Environment, Lord Randall, to make the case for new and improved legislation to deal with the scourge of hare coursing in South Cambridgeshire. Along with Jonathan Djanogly MP, Shailesh Vara MP, Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite and Superintendent James Sutherland, Heidi met Lord Randall to outline her concerns that hare coursing was not only increasing but that the measures for dealing with it had ceased to be effective.
Lord Randall agreed to look for legislative and other opportunities to bring about change, including the possibility of sentencing guidelines for courts and increasing the penalties available to them.
Heidi said: “Cambridgeshire Police has a dedicated Rural Crime Action Team which does an excellent job but it is clear that both the police and the courts lack the powers to deal with hare coursing. Hare coursing is increasing and has a significant impact on rural communities such as ours. The police are having to rely on legislation from the nineteenth century to bring prosecutions and without sentencing guidelines for the courts and increased penalties, all too often the legislation does not provide an effective deterrent.
The police and the courts need new powers. Existing powers need to be strengthened and I was pleased that Lord Randall was so prepared to listen to our concerns and work with us to bring an end to hare coursing and the increased levels of crime associated with it.”