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As part of the nationwide Operation Galileo, where information is shared between forces across the country, the Rural Crime Team will be increasing their patrols and working with the farming community and other partners to catch hare coursers.

Sgt Fergusson said: “We have built close links with our rural communities which has helped us build intelligence around hare coursing calne newswhere hare coursers operate and sometimes who they are. Some criminals will travel hundreds of miles to be involved and are often associated with organised crime gangs.”

“What many people don’t realise is that the hare coursing is a means to these gangs generating huge sums of money through live-streaming their activities for illegal gambling around the world. This then funds other criminal activity.”

“We would urge members of the public to report any instances of active hare coursing by calling 999 or reporting online after the event.”

It is important not to approach those taking part in hare coursing but do try to gather what information you can – location, type and colour of vehicle, how many people involved, if there are dogs present and if any weapons have been seen. Photos or video evidence can be helpful in bringing about a successful prosecution, but people should not take unnecessary risks to obtain it.