Calls for more police officers and tackling hare coursing discussed with MP Shailesh Vara

Cllr Simon Bywater, Shailesh Vara MP and Darryl Preston discuss police issues. Picture: VARA OFFICE

Cllr Simon Bywater, Shailesh Vara MP and Darryl Preston discuss police issues. Picture: VARA OFFICE - Credit: Archant

More police officers to target rural crime and longer sentences for hare coursers in Cambridgeshire were discussed when MP Shailesh Vara met with a police and crime commissioner candidate.

The MP for North West Cambs spoke with Darryl Preston, Conservative candidate for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Police and Crime Commissioner elections which are due to be held in May 2021.

They discussed a number of local policing issues in the region, including more police officers being deployed and the need to increase sentences for those found guilty of hare coursing.

Mr Vara and Mr Preston also visited the Sawtry Cabin in Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, along with local district councillor Simon Bywater, and met with Vinod Dattani and Jayshree Dattani, the proprietors.

Following the meeting Mr Vara said: “I was very pleased to be able to discuss various policing and crime issues with Mr Preston and it was encouraging to hear his views on what he will bring to the position if elected.

“I have been working with other MPs in the region as well as the constabulary and NFU to encourage the government to review sentencing for hare coursing, which is a serious issue in some parts of rural Cambridgeshire.

“It is encouraging that Mr Preston will work with us on this matter, to try to introduce tougher sentences to help tackle this terrible crime.”

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Mr Preston added: “We discussed the ongoing recruitment of many more police officers across the county to cut crime, the impact of rural crime, and the requirement for stiffer sentences for those caught hare coursing.

“We also met with local businesses who have gone above and beyond during lockdown.”

Cllr Simon Bywater said: “It was great to get out and about in Sawtry today with our MP Shailesh Vara and speak to Darryl Preston. It was also good to meet local businesses and discuss issues important to them.

“As a former police officer Darryl really understands local issues and recognises the benefits that visible policing can bring to a community tackling issues such as anti-social behaviour and speeding.”

Last week, Cambridgeshire police shared a video of the shocking aftermath hare coursers left behind in rural Cambridgeshire.

The clip posted on Twitter showed 10 dead hares lined up next to each other on a field in an undisclosed location in south Cambridgeshire.

The tweet from Cambs Rural Cops said: “This is the reality of coursing, 10 hares killed by one car last night.