1. ITV Report

Police warning over hare coursing 'fear and intimidation'

Police will be carrying out patrols in areas such as targets for hare coursing. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Norfolk Police is warning they'll take strong action against anyone they find taking part in hare coursing in the countryside

They're warning people to be vigilant describing the activity as having a 'terrible impact on communities', which 'threatens livelihoods and subjects people to fear and intimidation.'

Norfolk Police have joined up with 12 other forces as part of Operation Galileo to share intelligence to clampdown on the practice. Officers will also be carrying out patrols in areas identified as potential targets for hare coursing.

Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hare coursing has a terrible impact on our rural communities: it damages property, threatens people's livelihoods and subjects people and families to fear and intimidation.

It's an issue we take very seriously indeed and we will take prompt and robust action to prevent this happening in Norfolk, and pursue anybody committing this crime. If you witness this crime in action or have information about illegal hare coursing, please share this with us so we can work together to catch those responsible.

– PC Jon Chandler, Norfolk Police's Rural Crime Beat Manager for King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Hare coursing has been illegal for more than a decade, since the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004. This banned activity sees greyhounds and other 'sight' hounds, such as lurchers, chasing a hare by sight, not scent.

The dogs flush out the hares in the fields and are then released from their leads to chase, and often kill, the hare. Frequently the practice is highly organised. Significant sums of money can change hands in the form of illegal betting and gambling on the outcome. The victor is determined by the first dog to catch and 'turn' the hare or kill it.