Bedfordshire Police and colleagues join with NFU to tackle Hare Coursing.

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Bedfordshire Police and colleagues join with the NFU to tackle Hare Coursing.

It’s been illegal for over 10 years and as well as being barbaric, Hare Coursing also causes thousands of pounds worth of damage to individual farmer’s crop fields, irrigation systems, fences and gates.

The highly organised perpetrators often exchange significant sums of money illegally gambling on the outcome. The winner is the first dog to catch and ‘turn’ the hare or kill it.

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police’s rural crime team, said: “These offenders engage in a whole array of criminal activity, ranging from damaging property and crops to threatening violence, arson or intimidating those who challenge them.

“These same offenders may also use this activity to survey the land in order to return and commit other offences such as theft of farm machinery, diesel, tools and off road vehicles.”

Now the harvest is over and Hare Coursing rising at this time of year, there will be special days of action where wildlife crime officers will carry out patrols in hotspot areas and will deal robustly with offenders.

To report any information you can use the force’s online reporting centre or call 101, quoting Operation Sentinel.

The operation will see Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex police forces working in partnership with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Natural England, and the Country Land and Business Association.