August 17, 2022 8.55 am This story is over 22 months old

Hare coursing in Lincolnshire shown on BBC Earth documentary

Showing challenges faced by Lincolnshire Police and farmers

The challenges that Lincolnshire Police and farmers face with hare coursers has been captured by BBC Earth in a documentary released on YouTube.

Wildlife presenter Dan O’Neill and his crew filmed in rural areas of the county including the Spalding area, at Spalding Police Station, and Police Headquarters in Nettleham.

Dan joined one of our Community Beat Managers, PC Paul Freeman, on patrol around some of the key locations across the Spalding area which are targeted the most by hare coursers.

During the patrol, we received a 999 call to alert us to potential hare coursers, and officers attended with the filming crew. We seized one dog on a temporary basis, but there was not enough evidence to show that these were hare coursers.

One of the men who had initially been suspected of illegal hare coursing, spoke with Dan and his crew.

Two local farmers also spoke to Dan about the impact hare coursers have on their everyday life and the damage they can cause to their land.

Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, force lead for rural crime, said: “Hare Coursing is very different to what it was 200 years ago.

“The people involved in hare coursing are usually organised criminals. They plan their offending.

“Hare coursers film the incidents which are usually streamed online and people gamble on this.

“When we look at hare coursers, we often find their cruelty to animals is reflected in their cruelty to people.”

At the end of the documentary, Dan said how visiting the county had been a real ‘eye opener.’

He added: “This is a huge issue, not just for Lincolnshire but for the whole of the UK.

“It not only affects our police forces, rural communities and farmers, but our wild hares that are at a real risk of losing out.”

Lincolnshire Police leads on Operation Galileo in partnership with other forces, CLA and NFU, across the UK to target hare coursing.

We also recently introduced a new rural crime team to help protect rural communities and tackle crimes including hare coursing, lead thefts and fly-tipping has been realised and enhanced with the formation of a new rural crime action team.

To report a crime in action, call 999, or call 101 to report a non urgent crime.