Two men have been fined a total of £1,000 after they were caught trespassing and in search of game, contrary to section 30 of the Game Act 1831.
Tommy Sherred, age 21, of Gipsy Lane, Frome, and Joby Ayres, age 29, of Berkley Lane, Frome, pleaded guilty to the offence at North West Wiltshire Magistrates Court in July 2017.
On 14 January 2017, a green Ford hatchback was spotted on farmland in Bishops Cannings and several men were sighted with dogs in the area, believed to be hare coursing.
When they were confronted by the land owner, they began to shout abuse before speeding off towards Horton. Two of the men made off across the farm land towards Bishop Cannings.
Officers from the Rural Crime Team attended the scene and when they spotted two men in the fields, the men ran away in the opposite direction. Officers caught up with the pair and they were arrested on suspicion of daylight trespass in search or pursuit of game.
PC Marc Jackson said: “The Rural Crime Team is really pleased with the outcome of this investigation which saw a sizable fine for the offenders in relation to daylight trespass offences under the Game Act.
“As the Rural Crime Officer, I have been working hard with members of Farmwatch and landowners around the Pewsey Vale area to disrupt and deter the coursing and poaching activity over the last year.
“We will continue to work with members of the Farm Watch community, and will seek to target persistent poachers with the powers given to us to counter anti-social behaviour, such as issuing Community Protection Notices. CPN’s are aimed at preventing unreasonable behaviour that is having a negative impact on the local community’s quality of life.
“There is no doubt that damage to farm land, farm property, threats and intimidating behaviour towards farm workers is having a negative impact on the farmers and gamekeepers quality of life within Wiltshire.
“Wiltshire is not a soft touch and we will seek to prosecute individuals who seek to commit poaching related offence’s within the county where evidence exists.”