Police defend their actions against Deeping St Nicholas hare coursers

Operation Galileo

Police say Operation Galileo activity was successful in disrupting what they believe was intended to be a major hare coursing event in the county yesterday (Thursday).

According to officers, calls from the local community enabled them to be in the area with equipment before any hare coursing activity began.

They say, therefore, that no arrests were made; however, a number of offences were committed by individuals as they attempted to leave the scene, including driving across fields and failing to stop.

One fail to stop incident resulted in minor damage to a police vehicle. There were no injuries.

However, there has been criticism from a number of landowners and farmers who witnessed the events.

One said: “These hare coursers totally disregard the law. They seemed to run rings around the police.”

Another said: “The police had all the equipment out, including a drone but the hare coursers have absolutely no regard for the law.

“I know one farmer who won’t leave his property because he is scared of hare coursers.”

Chief Inspector from Lincolnshire Police, Jim Tyner, said: “We recognise the disruption and fear that hare coursing and rural crime causes our rural communities, which is why we have invested in new vehicles and equipment.

“We have regular Days of Action when we place extra resources in a locality over and above the normal response levels.

“On Thursday morning we very quickly became aware of a significant number of calls relating to hare coursing vehicles in the Deeping St Nicholas, Tongue End and Baston area.

“We were quickly in the area and several vehicles made off from officers.

“Some of these vehicles were driven dangerously to get away from officers.

“In all types of incidents we have to balance the safety of members of the public and the safety of officers with our desire to catch criminals.

“Each incident is considered on its own merit. Sometimes a pursuit will be continued. However, when appropriate, we will not continue a pursuit.

“We acknowledge that this can be frustrating for the officers involved and for our rural community who want us to take positive action, however the safety of all those involved must remain paramount.”

As part of an ongoing enquiry into offences on Thursday, police are asking drivers to check any dash cam footage to see if they may have captured footage of any of the following vehicles in the following areas:

• A red Subaru Forrester (registration HF51XKK) in the Tongue End and Deeping St Nicholas area;

• A blue Honda CR-V (V406RCA) in the Tongue End, Pode Hole and Baston area;

• A Green Subaru Forrester in the Donington area;

A blue Suzuki Vitara (Y134LRF) in the Great Hale area.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and request that the details are passed to Chief Inspector Jim Tyner.

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