Sixteen people have been dealt with for hare coursing offences in recent days.
Police say coursing is recognised as having a significant impact on the rural communities of Lincolnshire and disproportionately increasing the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour.
If you come to our county to commit offences, our officers are trained and ready to deal with you and it is very likely that you will have a long walk homeChief Inspector Jim Tyner
The activity is sometimes linked to violent behaviour and there is a genuine fear of associated intimidation and anti-social behaviour, causing concerns amongst the farming and rural communities and generating national media coverage.
Many hare coursers are persons of interest to other forces and their presence on land is often linked to other rural crime such as theft of plant and equipment.
Operation Galileo is Lincolnshire Police’s ongoing operation to tackle hare coursing in Lincolnshire. In previous years an Operation Galileo team was set up to combat this but this year police have taken a different approach, following consultation with the Strategic Rural Crime Steering Group, which is attended by numerous representatives of the farming community.
Chief Inspector Jim Tyner said: “We continue to have Operation Galileo in place to respond to reports of hare coursing. However, this year, rather than a team of five officers who were expected to respond to incidents throughout the 2,687 square miles of Lincolnshire, we have made the decision to equip and skill our local neighbourhood officers in the powers and legislation which relate to hunting with dogs.
“In the past few days Operation Galileo has yielded some great successes with 16 men arrested/reported for hare coursing and a number of vehicles seized.”
* Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt wild mammals with dogs and the legislation also gives police the powers to seize and detain vehicles until the court hearing. Powers to seize vehicles may also be granted under section 30 of the Game Act 1831.
Chief Inspector Tyner continued: “Our message to hare coursers is very clear. If you come to our county to commit offences, our officers are trained and ready to deal with you and it is very likely that you will have a long walk home”.