Seventeen men dealt with for suspected hare coursing offences across Lincolnshire this weekend alone

Hare coursing poster

Hare coursing poster

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It has been a busy weekend for Lincolnshire Police, with 17 men being dealt with for alleged hare coursing offences across the county as part of Operation Galileo.

Officers from local policing teams in each area, the force’s wildlife crime officer and officers from the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS) have been involved in the crackdown.

Yesterday (Sunday), four men from County Durham were reported for summons following an allegation of hare coursing at New York. One man was also reported for a public order offence. Their vehicle was seized.

This swift action by officers led to praise from a Coningsby farmer, while Chief Inspector Jim Tyner tweeted: “Spread the word: Lincolnshire is closed to #harecoursers”

Also yesterday:

* four men from West Sussex were reported for summons for hare coursing in the Digby Fen area. Their vehicle was seized.

* two men from Middlesbrough were caught hare coursing in Brothertoft and reported for summons. A Middlesbrough man was given a direction to leave the Stickney area following a report of hare coursing.

* six men from County Durham were reported for summons following an allegation of hare coursing in the Woodhall Spa area.

The weekend’s police action follows a period of successful enforcement last week and in November.

* On Friday, a man from St Albans was arrested for hare coursing in Moulton Eaugate. He has been charged and bailed to appear at court.

* On Thursday, men from Berkshire were checked in Deeping St James. Officers were unable to prove their involvement in hare coursing and escorted them to the Cambridgeshire border. Details were shared with Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

* Last Saturday, two men from Middlesbrough were reported for hare coursing in Sutton St James.

* Last Friday, three men from Middlesbrough were reported for summons following an allegation of hare coursing in Billingborough. Their vehicle was seized.

* On November 22, three men from Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire were caught in Stickney. They were reported for summons and escorted out of the area.

* On November 19, eight men from Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire were caught near Rippingale. They have been reported for summons. No vehicles were seized on this occasion.

* On November 18, five men from Surrey were arrested after a report of hare coursing at Dowsby Fen. They have been bailed until January 3 to allow officer time to gather evidential statements. A vehicle was seized under Section 8 Hunting Act.

Ch Insp Tyner is the force’s lead for rural crime. He said: “My message is clear. Op Galileo is here to stay and by training our neighbourhood officers in the powers and legislation which relate to hunting with dogs, we are better equipped than ever before to tackle this scourge on farming and rural communities.

“Lincolnshire is closed to hare coursers.”

Farmers and members of the public are urged to report all incidents to the force by calling 101, or the 999 system if appropriate.