Police operation continues to tackle hare coursers


The number of reports of people hare coursing across the county is down from last year say police - who launched Operation Galileo to tackle the illegal activity.

The total number of incidents recorded between September 1 to November 21, 2012, was 466 – while the figure for the same period this year is 282.

That’s down by about 35-40 per cent.

The total number of prosecutions for that period in 2012 was 58, but this year it is 54.

A police spokesman said: “Analysis shows that roughly half the incidents this season have been in the south of the county and police have responded accordingly with the Galileo team more focussed on the current ‘hotzone’ in the south.

“This has resulted in roughly half the prosecutions so far this season being from that area.”

Inspector Andy Ham said: “The level of public support has been excellent. Public feedback tells us that the efforts of the Galileo team are really appreciated and we’re received many letters of appreciation, urging us to maintain our commitment. We are certainly not being complacent, and I would ask people to continue to contact police if they see people acting suspiciously in their area. We really do rely on the support of our communities and information from them in order to deal quickly and robustly with these offences.”

He added: “In rural areas those people who are either hare coursing or there to commit other crime really stand out. They are groups of men with dogs, and those men are in vehicles which are often dirty 4x4s.

“Locals will notice them. I would urge anyone to ring 101 quoting ‘Operation Galileo’ or ‘hare coursing’ and give any details, such as vehicle make, model, colour or preferably - registration number - which will help us to locate them. If anyone sees people actively coursing with dogs, that is a crime in action and people should ring 999.”