Suffolk: Bid to crack down on hare coursing


- Credit: David Tipling

A new cross-county operation to tackle hare coursing is being launched, with a warning that those caught engaging in the illegal blood sport could have their vehicles seized and crushed.

Suffolk police, along with colleagues in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, will launch Operation Galileo today.

This year’s campaign, backed by the National Farmers’ Union, has been timed to start after harvest, when hare coursers typically become active as large tracts of land are left without standing crops. During this period, people from across the UK are known to travel to the region to hunt hares with dogs.

Reports of hare coursing have been increasing in recent years and between September 2012 and March 2013, more than 300 incidents were reported in Suffolk.

Officers will be carrying out patrols in areas identified as potential targets for offenders and will be taking strong action against anyone found to be hare coursing.

Police will seek to prosecute those who are responsible and the vehicles used in such activities can be seized by police and could be crushed.

Assistant chief constable Tim Newcomb said hare coursing could cause “distress, alarm and inconvenience” to the county’s rural communities.

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He added: “It is extremely important that we work together to tackle this area of crime and I would ask that anyone who sees hare coursing being carried out to report it to police immediately.”

If you witness hare coursing, do not approach but call police on 101.