Hare coursing, dangerous driving and fly-tipping were targeted by officers from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force in January.

During the month the team made seven arrests, seized 16 vehicles, issued six penalty notices to motorists and investigated 22 wildlife crime offences.

Fly-tipping investigated

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Rural Task Force January results

Part of their efforts involved teaming up with Sevenoaks District Council, the Environment Agency and the Metropolitan Police in a bid to combat those fly-tipping on the Sevenoaks and Bromley border. On 20 January 2022 the team issued warning letters to suspected fly-tippers and a vehicle was seized.

Hare coursing arrest made

The first arrest for breaching a Community Protection Notice (CPN) was made by the team on 26 January. The action formed part of Operation Galileo, the national policing response to hare coursing and a man was detained after officers responded to a call of suspected hare coursing in progress in Iwade. On arrival it transpired the 32-year-old was breaching the conditions of a previously issued CPN and he was arrested. He is due before the court at a later date.

Driver charged

The team were also involved in a pursuit which led to a man being arrested in Hollingbourne on 27 January 2022. The officers signalled for the vehicle to stop in Harrietsham but it made off before a collision near Hollingbourne Hill.

The driver reportedly ran from the officers but was detained shortly after. He was later charged with failing to stop, dangerous driving and driving without a licence.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw said: ‘It was a busy month for the team with many reports of hare coursing and poaching being investigated. We managed to secure the first Community Protection Notice arrest in relation to Operation Galileo and the suspect has been reported to the court.

‘We continue to share information with our colleagues who form part of the seven force collaboration to tackle hare coursing and it has proven effective in allowing us to target repeat offenders across the region.

‘The team are now beginning to see an increase in livestock attacks as we approach lambing season. I would like to ask all dog owners to keep their pet on a lead when near livestock.

‘The officers now carry DNA testing kits which allow them to identify dogs involved in such attacks. Owners who allow their dogs to chase and injure livestock are actually risking their pet’s life, as they may be destroyed if linked to an attack.’

Sergeant Darren Walshaw

By Ed

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