Hare coursing is on the decline in Lincolnshire, police have said.
The number of incidents in the county during the current winter is 810 - down from around 1,100 in the previous year. A police crackdown is believed to have played a role.
Furthermore, this reduction has occurred during a season when the police have been positively encouraging farmers, landowners and the general public to assist us by reporting such incidents.
Since September 2012 the Operation Galileo team have been responsible for 186 prosecutions under the Gaming or Hunting Acts. Another 90 persons have been stop/checked and warned prior to commencing any coursing.
Many of those prosecutions are still going through the courts, but police say there have already have been fines, banning orders and disqualification from driving. Some vehicles have been seized and a small number of dogs have been recovered.
Inspector Andy Ham heads up the operation. He wanted to send his gratitude to the public for the role they play in reporting hare coursing.
“Lincolnshire police would like to thank those members of our rural communities who have helped us to tackle this issue by reporting illegal activity and where appropriate, supporting proescutions by making statements,” he said.
“Some reports of hare coursing will no doubt continue to be received, and will continue to be dealt with robustly. Rural Crime remains a Force priority.
“Lincolnshire Police will continue to try to deal with the concerns of rural communities by tackling such high impact criminal activity.”