PCs target hare sport

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HARE coursers in the Spalding area are being warned police have launched a full-time team to combat the illegal sport.

Operation Galileo will aim to tackle and reduce the incidents of hare coursing across the county.

The newly-formed team will consist of a sergeant, six PCs, one of whom will be the Force Wildlife Officer, and one dog handler.

County police received 1,200 reports of hare coursing in 2011-12 and are confident that number will go down with a team focusing on the crime

Inspector Andy Ham said: “During the hare coursing season, which lasts from around September to March, the number of incidents has increased each year.

“Hare coursing, as well as being illegal, causes disruption, inconvenience and alarm to members of our rural communities. Evidence shows that the type of people who participate in it are often involved in other forms of criminal activity and in the main come from outside of Lincolnshire, regularly as repeat offenders.

“Having a dedicated team will enable us to not only respond quickly to reports and calls from the public, but it will also mean we can improve the way in which we gather intelligence, monitor activities, patterns and locations, and consequently plan our policing activities and resources for maximum effect”.

To report any incidents of hare coursing, call 101.