Lincolnshire Police has launched Operation Galileo 2019/2020 to tackle the cruel and illegal gambling sport of hare coursing.
The number of reports of hare coursing has significantly decreased in Lincolnshire since 2016, when the latest tactics were introduced.
Last season saw 873 incidents, compared to 1,365 in 2017/18 and 1,965 during the 2016/17 season. Prevention will continue to be the force’s focus.
The force’s drones will again be used as part of the Operation Galileo effort, to tackle rural crime, along with additional 4x4 vehicles.
Lincolnshire has been seizing hare coursing dogs for a number of years, more than any other force in the country, and will continue to do so.
Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, the lead for rural crime, says information from the public is still vital: “Last season was very positive and we are looking at building on that, while also improving our efforts to fight other rural crimes such as theft of machinery and dangerous driving.”
Forces covering the top 12 hare coursing areas of the country are combining under Operation Galileo to target the worst offenders by sharing information and intelligence to halt the criminals before they reach the fields, seizing vehicles, cash and property, while working with the NFU and CLA, to improve legislation.