Lincolnshire Police has taken to the skies with Operation Galileo in a bid to stamp out the criminal activity of hare coursing.
The force’s efforts to tackle hare coursing went from strength to strength in 2017/18 with 76 dogs seized from criminals who were setting them loose to chase and kill hares.
Lincolnshire also saw a 30% fall in the number of incidents, from 1,965 in 2016/17 down to 1,365 in 2017/18), with the Force working more closely with rural communities and the use of new technology and tactics to prevent offending, including drones with thermal imaging capability.
The drones return to the Force’s fleet to tackle rural crime this season, along with quadbikes and Ford Kugas which are used to respond to incidents. This season three Ford Rangers join the ranks which will have greater capacity to safely hold seized dogs and more power tackle the most treacherous rural terrains.
Superintendent Phil Vickers, the force’s new lead for rural crime, said: “We are in good shape for this season with new vehicles and our drone can now be deployed 24/7 as more officers have been trained to fly them. Last season was very positive and we are looking at building on that while also improving our efforts to fight other rural crimes such as thefts of machinery and dangerous driving.
“People who live in our rural communities play a vital part in helping us gather intelligence and now CrimeStoppers have launched a number just for reporting rural crimes for people who wish to remain anonymous. Please report information, however insignificant you might think it is, as it may help us piece together a crime and prevent others from becoming victims.”
Police and crime commissioner, Marc Jones, added: “I made a commitment to ensure our force has the right tools for the job to combat these gangs and we have already made great strides in that area.
“The behaviour of these organised criminals from across the country goes far beyond the illegal act of hunting hares with dogs and can involve significant risk of serious harm to our community and will not be tolerated in Lincolnshire.”