A dedicated team set up to combat hare coursing in south Lincolnshire is making progress success after a 27 per cent drop in reported incidents.
Figures for Operation Galileo, an eight-strong team of police officers helping to stop gangs of hare coursers operating in the county, show that 521 incidents were reported between September and December 2013.
It is 141 less than for the same period in 2012 and the trend is backed up by other figures which show that there were 110 prosecutions between September and December 2013, down by 20 per cent from the same period in 2012 when there were 132 prosecutions.
But there were 70 cases where people suspected of hare coursing were advised or warned by the police between September and December 2013, a rise of nine per cent from the same four months of 2012 when there were 64 warnings.
Insp Ham, who is heading up Operation Galileo, said: “Throughout the county, the number of incidents of hare coursing went down in 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012.
“This is on top of the decreases already achieved by the team in previous years before the introduction of Operation Galileo in September 2012.
“Overall, the presence of the Galileo team seems to have had an impact and, once again, the level of public support has been excellent.”
The Operation Galileo team were out on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to monitor farmland where hare coursing gangs from across the country have been reported in the past.
Insp Ham said: “Whilst some incidents were recorded, they were not in significant numbers and were reduced compared to previous years.”