As the crops in the fields are harvested, Lincolnshire Police expects to receive an increased number of reports of illegal hare coursing in the county.
Its response to that is Operation Galileo, a tried and tested operation which aims to tackle the incidents of hare coursing and sends a clear message to the perpetrators - ‘You are not welcome in Lincolnshire’.
Evidence shows that hare coursers bring other forms of criminal activity and usually come from outside the county. They cause damage to the land and alarm to local communities.
Today (Friday) Lincolnshire Police held the annual launch of Operation Galileo.
Assistant Chief Constable Peter Davies opened the event. He said: “Last year we saw fewer incidents of hare coursing and we want to reduce that figure further. Operation Galileo is about letting criminals know we are out there and letting our communities know that we will protect them.”
Last year there were 163 prosecutions – all bar one of those prosecuted had previous convictions. Therefore Lincolnshire Police understands that it is not just about the activity of hare coursing itself, but also about the associated criminal activity.
Chief Inspector Stuart Brinn explained that Officers would be using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) in the fight against hare coursing. He said: “Hare coursing, as well as being illegal, causes disruption and alarm to members of our rural communities. Evidence shows that people who participate in it usually come from outside Lincolnshire. ANPR plays an important role in helping us to track suspects as they come into the County.”
Please contact the police on 101 to report suspicious activity straight away. Ideally, take note of vehicle registrations, times and locations. Even information such as the make, colour and direction of travel of vehicles can be extremely valuable to in the fight against hare coursing.