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South Rural Task Force recognised for work to combat poaching

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Lancashire Constabulary’s South Rural Task Force Team have been recognised for their continued work to tackle hare coursing and poaching. 

Operation Galileo is a national operation co-ordinated by The National Wildlife Crime Unit. 

Lancashire Constabulary is one of 32 forces and partnership agencies supporting the operation, demonstrating a dedication to combatting the illegal activity of hare coursing which damages property, threatens people's incomes, and subjects people to fear and intimidation. 

As a direct result of South Rural Task Force's activity, reports of hare coursing across South Lancashire have reduced by 66% in the last two years. 

During this time, the team has secured 8 successful prosecutions, 3 criminal behaviour orders, conducted 57 stop searches, seized 6 vehicles and seized and safeguarded 6 dogs. 

Sgt Darren Carr said: Hare coursing and poaching is a huge issue for our rural community, with too many people living in fear of these crimes and criminals, many of whom have links to organised criminality. 

“We are committed to tackling this issue and we would like to thank the public for their continued support in reporting incidents to us so that we can bring offenders to justice.” 

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said:

"It's great to see this recognition for the team's hard work, highlighting their commitment to protecting rural communities and ensuring criminals understand that in south division, and across Lancashire, rural areas are a no go.

"The impact that our rural taskforces continue to have, delivering dedicated, targeted policing that engages with rural communities and addresses their unique policing needs is testament to all their hard work. 

“My Fighting Crime Plan commits to the people of Lancashire that all of our areas and communities, from our countryside to our largest cities, feel protected. I will continue working with the Chief Constable on the issues that matter to people as I lead the fight against crime in Lancashire.”

The team, which was established in March 2021, also won the Rob Oliver Award in the same year for excellence in the fight against construction plant and agricultural machinery theft. 

This was recognised due to the team conducting more plant machinery checks and seizures than any other force in the UK.