Police investigate hare coursing in Great Barford

Police are investigating after they received reports of hare coursing in Great Barford on Saturday, January 11.

Officers were called at around 10am to a report that a white lurcher type dog had been seen in the fields behind farmland at Great Barford.

crime

crime

Two 4x4 vehicles were also seen in the vicinity.

Officers attended the scene, but could not locate the dog, or any vehicles.

If anyone saw anything suspicious, they are asked to call Bedfordshire Police on 101.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: "Hare coursing has been banned in the United Kingdom under the Hunting Act since 2004 and can cause immense financial loss to farmers because of criminal damage to the property or the crops, or loss of livestock.

"Legal consequences of hare coursing include a fine, criminal behaviour order or a restraining order, as well as the dog or vehicle being seized.

"If you believe hare coursing is taking place in your area, report it online or by calling 101. If the crime is still in progress, call 999."

Bedfordshire Police has a dedicated team which deals with rural crimes - Operation Sentinel Rural - the team is made up of officers who are knowledgeable and passionate about the welfare of rural communities and animals.

They are dedicated to building strong relationships with farmers and land owners to support them when they are being a victim of hare coursing, fly tipping, or when their land is used for unauthorised encampments.

Additionally the team is investigating wildlife crime in which protected species are being targeted either for cruel sports, being caught in illegal traps by poachers or for profit by collectors. Once a protected species disappears from their natural habitat it is difficult to reintroduce it back to the ecosystem.