TWO men have been released under investigation after reports of hare coursing near Warminster.

At 1.15pm on Thursday February 25 police received reports of suspicious activity on farmland in the Boyton area.

Officers attended and pursued a silver Honda CR-V after it failed to stop. The National Police Air Service assisted and located the men abandoning the Honda and entering a separate vehicle in Stoford near Salisbury.

The vehicle was intercepted by local officers shortly after. Three dogs were also found in the vehicle.

Both men, aged 23 and 32 from Frome, were arrested on suspicion of offences under the Hunting Act, criminal damage and failing to stop for police.

Sgt Greg Fergusson, of Wiltshire Police Rural Crime Team, said: “We are cracking down on hare coursing and illegal hunting here in Wiltshire and our rural crime team are working closely with our local community policing teams, who did a great job here, to ensure we are able to respond quickly and effectively.“This is a great example of teamwork between our community policing teams across the county, NPAS and specialist operations. I also want to pass on my thanks to the local farmers. Their quick reporting allowed us to respond quickly and effectively."

“Our message is clear, if we suspect anyone of hare coursing in Wiltshire, we will act swiftly”.

Wiltshire Police remain committed to the national strategy, Operation Galileo, which allows police forces to use civil and criminal powers to prevent offending by hare coursers and protect vulnerable victims.

If you have any information in relation to rural crime, please call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.