These damaging illegal activities increase during late autumn following the cutting of crops and as the hours of darkness grow.
Sergeant Andy Williams from the Country Watch team said:
“Illegal activities such as poaching and hare coursing have a knock-on effect for landowners and gamekeepers. Their livelihoods are disrupted and thousands of pounds are lost from the local economy.
“Poachers aren’t the old fashioned ‘one for the pot’ characters seen in fiction. They are nearly always associated with other criminality, including rural burglaries, thefts and damage to property.
“Tackling poaching, which can include deer, game birds and fish, is one of the National Wildlife Crime Unit’s priorities. The Country Watch team is supporting this effort with targeted operations involving our partners in the rural community, and by increasing patrols.
“Our powers include the seizure of dogs, equipment and even vehicles used in poaching and other illegal activity.”
If you have any information about poaching or hare coursing, please call 101 quoting Operation Thornley or 999 if a crime is in progress.
You can also use the Project Poacher app - www.projectpoacher.com - or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
To receive free crime and community information, register for Country Watch alerts at www.hampshirecountrywatch.co.uk.