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RURAL CRIME WEEK: Dogs seized following badger cruelty offences in Maidstone

Tuesday 15th October 2019

ANIMAL cruelty, badger baiting, hare coursing, night hawking, fly tipping and vehicle theft were just a few of the issues dealt with by Kent’s Rural Task Force during rural crime week.

Throughout the week officers teamed up with local councils to target fly tippers and the RSPCA to conduct warrants and help them gather evidence into animal cruelty offences.

Numerous vehicles were stopped in connection with waste carrying offences and the local authorities are now pursing cases against those responsible.

During one check on Wednesday, 9 October officers joined the RSPCA in relation to an investigation into badger cruelty. A number of dogs were seized from addresses in Ashford, Maidstone and New Romney. The investigation is still ongoing.

Rural Task Force Sergeant, Darren Walshaw said: “The team had a number of busy shifts during rural crime week, but it was very much business as usual. They are out on patrol every day in the rural areas of Kent to target and disrupt criminal activity.

“People who live in rural communities often feel isolated and vulnerable and those involved in rural crime rely on the threats and intimidation for their actions not to be reported to the police. However, we remain committed to working with rural communities to make them feel safer and actively clamp down on the criminals who target them.

“Poaching and illegal hare coursing may not appear to be serious offences on the surface but often those involved in this are part of organised criminal networks. They cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to land, property and often use vehicles that are stolen or untaxed not to mention the cruelty they inflict on animals.”