21 arrested in hare coursing crackdown

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Police are taking 21 men to court for alleged hare coursing only a month after launching a county-wide crackdown.

Five vehicles have been impounded – and five dogs have been confiscated by police using animal welfare legislation.

News of the successes so far has been greeted with relief by farmers who have endured years of crop damage from gangs trespassing with vehicles on their land.

Sutton Bridge father and son farmers Michael and Simon Booth say hare coursers were active over the weekend in their home parish and at Holbeach St Marks – and they are delighted the police are making arrests.

Police say the Operation Galileo team, headed by Insp Andy Ham, has attended “numerous incidents and stopped people who have travelled to Lincolnshire from all over the country to engage in illegal hare coursing”.

Offenders are travelling to Lincolnshire from as far away as the West Midlands and North Wales, but police say Operation Galileo is now deterring some from trespassing on the county’s farms. A spokesman said: “Those who are still taking the risk appear to be settling bets outside the county rather than risk having large sums of money seized from them by police.”