Hare coursing targeted in Lincolnshire
The first full-time police team dedicated to combat hare coursing in Lincolnshire has been set up.
Operation Galileo, the force's ongoing initiative to tackle the problem, will now have six full-time officers.
Police received 1,200 reports of hare coursing alone in 2011/12 and hope the new system will cut the number of incidents.
Offences start to rise in the autumn after crops have been harvested and continue until the beginning of spring.
The 2011/2012 figures showed a slight rise in reported incidents compared to the previous year.
Police said they were working with other forces as hare coursing gangs travel from across England to the county.
Lincolnshire's wildlife rural crime officer, PC Nick Willey, said: "It is proven that a dedicated team that can focus their activities can work best.
"If we are focussing on Saturdays and then statistically we find they are coming on a Wednesday and Thursday, then we can target our team.
"I'm not saying we are going to stop hare coursing in Lincolnshire but hopefully - and I am personally confident - that we can reduce it."