A rural police officer who became a national authority on the prevention of hare coursing has retired after 30 years on the force.

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Pc Paul Marina has been part of Hertfordshire Constabulary since 1983, and has been based at Royston Police station since 2004.

As part of the area’s rural police team, Pc Marina worked with farmers and game-keepers to stamp out hare-coursing, which has been illegal since 2005, achieving a number of convictions.

He became the first police officer in the country to secure an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) against an offender for repeat hare coursing offences when the Hunting Act 2004 came into force.

Pc Marina, who lives just outside Royston, said: “I joined the police because I wanted to do something which interested me and nine to five job didn’t appeal at all.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my years as a police officer and I particularly enjoyed the work I undertook for the rural community in Royston.

“I am immensely proud of the work I did to reduce hare coursing in the area and am pleased I have been able to make a difference to people living in rural areas.”

Chief Inspector for North Herts Donna Pierce said: “Paul will be very missed by all his colleagues in Royston and North Herts. He will be particularly missed by members of the rural community in his old patch.

“Paul made a significant difference to rural policing in particular from the day he started at Royston and he should be rightly proud of his accomplishments.

“I wish him a happy, healthy and well deserved retirement.”

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