Police in Lincolnshire have pledged that an annual campaign targeting hare coursers will continue after the number of reported cases more than doubled this year.
Figures from Lincolnshire Police showed there were 2,169 reports of hare coursing between September 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, compared to 987 during the 2014/15 season, a jump of 120 per cent.
We have continued to provide a response and this is reflected in the high number of men dealt with for hare coursing offencesChief Inspector Jim Tyner, lead officer for rural crime at Lincolnshire Police
A review of Operation Galileo, which this year involved neighbourhood policing teams rather than a specialist team of officers, also showed that 176 men had been arrested or reported for summons to court.
This compares with 65 men who were dealt with in the same way during 2014/15, a rise of 70 per cent.
In addition, 93 other men were either told to leave the county or dealt with for traffic offences, while 19 vehicles and three dogs were seized. Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, lead officer for rural crime at Lincolnshire Police, said: “This huge increase in incidents of hare coursing shows the significant impact on our rural communities.
“We have continued to provide a response and this is reflected in the high number of men dealt with for hare coursing offences.
“In partnership with representatives from the NFU, the CLA and other agencies, I am now looking at our tactics for next season when we will be focusing on the seizure of dogs used in hare coursing.
“This has been shown to have the biggest impact on those who chose to come to our county to take part in this illegal activity.
“Despite competing demands on policing resources, Operation Galileo is here to stay.”