186 people prosecuted in Lincolnshire under new anti-hare coursing operation

So far Lincolnshire Police’s ‘Operation Galileo’ anti-hare coursing strategy has seen 186 people prosecuted.

Analysis confirms a marked reduction in the total number of hare coursing incidents reported to Lincolnshire Police this season compared to recent years.

Now, midway through March, police are at a time when traditionally when the number of reported hare coursing incidents starts to diminish as crops start to grow and coursing is less viable.

The number of reported incidents throughout the county between September 2012 and mid March 2013, currently stands at 810.

This is a significant decrease on the total of around 1100 last season.

Furthermore, this reduction has occurred during a season when the police have been positively encouraging farmers, landowners and the general public to assist us by reporting such incidents.

Since September 2012 the Operation Galileo team have been responsible for 186 prosecutions under the Gaming or Hunting Acts.

Another 90 peoeple have been stop-checked and warned prior to commencing any coursing.

Many of those prosecutions are still going through the courts, but already there have been fines, banning orders and disqualification from driving.

Some vehicles have been seized and a small number of dogs have been recovered.

Inspector Andy Ham said: “Lincolnshire Police would like to thank those members of our rural communities who have helped us to tackle this issue by reporting illegal activity and where appropriate, supporting proescutions by making statements.

“Some reports of hare coursing will no doubt continue to be received, and will continue to be dealt with robustly.

“Rural crime remains a force priority.

“Lincolnshire Police will continue to try to deal with the concerns of rural communities by tackling such high impact criminal activity.”