Cambridgeshire rural crime team reform after spike in offences

The new Rural Crime Action Team.
The new Rural Crime Action Team.

A team of officers dedicated to combatting rural crime in Cambridgeshire has been re-formed in response to community concerns.

The Rural Crime Action Team (RCAT) will combat hare coursing and poaching, as well as using specialist knowledge to deal with other aspects of rural crime including plant/tractor theft, arson, wildlife crime and illegal raves. Raising awareness of crime prevention strategies will also be a part of their role.

In recent months incidents of hare coursing have been three times higher compared to previous years. Hare coursing causes damage to crops, harms animal welfare and threatens the rural economy. At times it can result in intimidation and even violence.

Today, Friday April 1, officers were joined by representatives from the National Farmers Union, the Country Land and Business Association and Countryside Watch at a launch event for the team.

Chief Inspector James Sutherland said: “Our goals are simple - we want to drive hare coursing out of Cambridgeshire, reduce the financial cost of rural crime and let those in the rural community know that we are behind them.”