Police have warned that hare coursing is on the rise again after a farmer was threatened by a catapult. 

Suspicious vehicles, suspected to be involved in coursing, have been spotted on farmland in areas including Kingsclere, Hannington, and Herriard.

On July 5, a farm in Kingsclere was threatened with a catapult, and an incident in Herriard, reported on July 9, saw an offending vehicle narrowly avoid colliding with a victim’s dog.

Police later seized the vehicle in Liphook, and a Lurcher dog was seized by police in Herriard.

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Coursing not only involves the poaching of hares, but often sees significant damage caused to the farmland by individuals and vehicles trespassing, in addition to intimidation and threats of violence towards landowners.

A police spokesperson said: "We anticipate seeing further incidents elsewhere in the county, and urge people to be aware and to report coursing and associated damage to us.

"If the crime is in progress, call 999 quoting Operation Galileo.

"We would like to remind people to never approach the individuals involved in this type of crime – your safety is priority.

"If it is safe to do so, you can consider obtaining any photos or video/Dash Cam footage to provide to the police.

"The more information we have from you the better placed we are to target our resources and patrols to disrupt those involved in rural crime." 

What to do when contacting the police?

When calling the police, provide as much information as you can, such as:

  • Are the suspect/s alone or in a group?
  • Do they have equipment with them?
  • Do they have dogs or firearms with them?
  • What type of dogs?
  • Where are they going - direction of travel if leaving/just left?
  • Where have they been?
  • What do they look like?
  • How many vehicles, what are the number plates and vehicle models or any distinctive damage/marks visible?  
  • Any damage caused to fence/gates/fields?
  • Name of landowner 
  • Has there been any intimidation of the landowner, Farmer, Agent?

If you have the What3Words app, you can also use this to provide location data to the police call handler. Find out more about What3Words here: https://what3words.com/products/what3words-app

If the crime is not in progress or has just happened, or you have any information or intelligence about any rural and wildlife crime, you can report this to police by calling 101, using the report tool on www.hampshire.police.uk or reporting anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

If you are a member of DISC you can also use this platform to provide information to the police.

If you have a business connection to the rural and wildlife environment, you may be eligible to be a member of DISC. Please email discreports@hampshire.police.uk