Police to carry out patrols to stop hare coursing in North Herts

The Rural Operational Support Unit. Picture: Herts police

The Rural Operational Support Unit. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

Police officers in North Herts are to carry out targeted patrols to deter offenders from hare coursing.

The practice, which has been illegal in the UK since 2005, involves the pursuit of a hare with a greyhound or other form of sighthound – if the hare is caught it is usually killed.

For the county-wide initiative, police officers from the specialist Rural Operational Support Team will carry out a series of days of action with other forces in the eastern region.

Working alongside the Safer Neighbourhood Team Special Constabulary, these days of action will form part of Operation Galileo and be in addition to usual patrols.

Sgt Jamie Bartlett said: “We have already received reports of suspected incidents in East and North Herts recently, but it is also a problem which happens across rural areas throughout the county.

“Not only do illegal coursers and poachers trespass on private land, damage crops and property, but they also often steal property and can be abusive and intimidating to those who challenge them.

“There is also the matter of animal cruelty, frequent illegal gambling, driving stolen vehicles and using red diesel.”

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