Police in Lincolnshire have demonstrated how drones will assist in the fight against illegal hare coursing.
In a demo scenario, carried out earlier this month, two officers played the part of offenders who fled across open fields and hid in dense woodland.
Using a thermal imaging camera on a high-tech drone, the ‘suspects’ were quickly located, allowing officers on quads to traverse the field and intercept them.
The demonstration, which was streamed live from the drone onto a large screen watched by journalists, marked the launch of Operation Galileo, the force’s campaign to tackle illegal hare coursing.
Last year, Op Galileo saw around 250 offenders dealt with by being arrested, ordered to leave the county or given a warning, plus 40 vehicles and 31 dogs were seized.
Speaking on the launch day, Constable Bill Skelly said: “It’s not just about the technology which we are showcasing today, nor about the vehicles which we have purchased and put into operational policing, but about working with our partners in the rural communities and other forces to gather information and intelligence on those who commit crimes, including hare coursing and thefts.
“We are bringing that all together, raising awareness amongst our staff about all the legislation available and then using that to enforce actively. From there, work continues further down the line in the criminal justice system, through to the final outcomes at magistrates court. So it is a whole effort on the part of a number of different partners and agencies to bring about a better result for our rural communities.”