WILTSHIRE Community Safety Partnership (WCSP) has launched a new rural crime campaign called ‘shutting the gate on rural crime’.

The year-long campaign will involve partnership working between Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council to target rural crime and other associated behaviours that can cause great distress to rural communities.

Throughout the year, the campaign – which is supported by Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon – will focus on a number of rural crime-related topics, the first one being hare coursing.

Wiltshire Police Sergeant Vincent Logue said: “As the supervisor for the Wiltshire Police Rural Crime Team, I am very pleased to support this campaign which will highlight the issues faced by the rural community.”

Wiltshire Police Rural Crime Team (RCT) has noted an increase in incidents involving hare coursing in rural areas, an activity which has a huge impact on local communities.

Hare coursing is, in essence, a form of gambling and usually results in the death of the hare. A dog is released to chase the hare and participants bet on, for example, how long it takes to catch the hare or which direction the hare will go next.