RESIDENTS are being urged to contact police amidst an increase in hare coursing and poaching in North Hampshire.

The Hampshire Constabulary's Countrywatch team is asking residents to contact the police if they see the crime in progress. 

Hare coursing, which sets two running dogs on a brown hare, competing to chase, catch and kill the hare, was made illegal in the 2004 Hunting Act.

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Tougher measures were introduced in 2022 to tackle the crime, meaning those convicted could face an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison.

“In recent weeks we have seen a large increase in hare coursing and poaching, especially in the north of the county," said Hampshire Constabulary Countrywatch on X, formerly known as Twitter.

They added: “If you see hare coursing in progress always call 999 quoting ‘Op Galileo’.

“This crime type has a huge impact on farmers and landowners.”

Rural crimes can be reported to the Police by calling 101 or visiting