Police target hare coursers as ‘season’ gets under way

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Lincolnshire Police is once again launching Operation Galileo to tackle and reduce hare coursing.

Inspector Andy Ham explained: “Hare coursing, as well as being illegal, causes disruption and alarm to rural communities.

“Evidence shows that people who participate in it are mainly involved in other forms of criminal activity.

“During what has become known as the hare coursing ‘season’, from around September to March, the number of reported incidents increased steadily each year until last season”.

Last year a newly formed dedicated Operation Galileo Team dealt with a record number of offenders – 186 men were prosecuted, usually under the Gaming or Hunting Acts, and another 100 were given warnings prior to commencing any coursing.

Consequently the number of incidents reported to Lincolnshire police was reduced by around 250, and was the lowest recorded number for at least five years. The same period also saw a dramatic reduction in distraction burglaries.

“Having a dedicated team enables us to not only respond quickly to reports from the public, but it also improves the way in which we gather intelligence.”

Inspector Ham urges everyone to contribute to the police’s ability to deal with offences by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity.

“Ideally, take note of vehicle registrations, times and specific locations. Obviously, should you witness hare coursing actually taking place, please ring 999 so the team is given the opportunity of apprehending the persons.”