Three men arrested on suspicion of hare coursing in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 14:53 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 10 September 2018
Three men have been arrested on suspicion of hare coursing in South Norfolk.
Police were called at just after 7pm on Sunday to reports of men with dogs in fields in an area close to Spooner Row, near Wymondham.
Officers arrested a person in his late teens and two men in their twenties on suspicion of taking part in hare coursing.
The arrests come just days after Norfolk Police issued a warning of a crackdown on the activities of offenders who are known to travel to Norfolk from around the country to hunt hares with dogs.
Hare coursers typically become active after the harvest when as large tracts of land are left without standing crops. It sees greyhounds and other ‘sight’ hounds, such as lurchers, chasing a hare by sight, not scent.
Hare coursing has been illegal for more than a decade, since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004.
The three men were also arrested on suspicion of the theft of two dogs in Essex last month. The dogs and a white Transit van have also been seized.
The three suspects were taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre for questioning. They remain in police custody.
Norfolk have joined forces with police in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex, the National Farmers’ Union, Natural England and the Countryside Land Owners Association as part of Operation Galileo – an annual operation targeting hare coursing in the East of England.
Officers will be carrying out patrols in areas identified as potential targets for illegal hare coursing. Any vehicles used in such activities can be seized and could be crushed.
Superintendent Jason Broome, of Norfolk Police, said: “We take the issue of illegal hare coursing very seriously because we understand the impact it has on our rural communities. This illegal activity damages property, threatens people’s incomes and subjects people to fear and intimidation.
“We will act promptly and robustly and pursue anybody committing this type of crime. I appeal to anybody who may witness this crime in action or have information about illegal hare coursing to contact us.”