Eleven people have been arrested in a police operation against hare coursing.

The neighbourhood policing teams in Wantage, Faringdon and Hungerford are running an operation targeting anyone who is hare coursing and committing any related offences.

PC Steve Lynch, based at Wantage police station, said: “Every autumn and through the winter months hare coursers become a menace to local farmers and landowners.

“It is not just the act of putting dogs on to the hares that we are concerned about, but also the fact that this is often combined with the total disregard for other people's property.

“They cause criminal damage to crops, fences and buildings and in addition, those responsible are very often in breach of various traffic laws. The hare coursers in our area are also illegally using The Ridgeway.

“I would like to remind the public that if anyone is caught hare coursing they will be arrested and their vehicles and dogs will be seized. We will be working jointly with the RSPCA actively patrolling the areas targeting those responsible.

“Migrate is a cross border operation also involving the neighbourhood teams from Hungerford and Faringdon. The Wantage and Faringdon sector covers from the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border as far east as Blewbury village.”

Arrests have so far been made near Steventon and East Hanney with everyone arrested bailed to dates early in the New Year.

Anyone with information which could help the police should contact PC Lynch at Wantage police station via 0845 8 505 505, or if you don’t want to talk to the police or give your name, call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.