A NUMBER of dead hares were dumped at a petrol station in Verwood.

They were found on Wednesday, May 19 at the Morrisons petrol station and police say they are trying to track down a black Subaru estate vehicle believed to have been involved in the incident.

Officers believe this incident could be linked to a spate of criminal damage caused by off-road driving believed to relate to hare coursing in the north of the county.

Dorset Police say a number of incidents have happened in the Tarrant Valley area around the A354, involving offenders entering fields at night and driving on farm land - causing damage to crops on the night of May 19 and criminal damage to gates and crops between 12pm on May 21 and 8am on May 22.

Inspector Simon Perry said: “We are carrying out increased targeted patrols in the areas impacted and conducting investigations into this emerging series of criminal damage, which we believe is directly linked to the act of hare coursing.

“We are encouraging landowners to review their security measures, including considering environmental security measures such as ditches."

“As part of our enquiries into these matters, we have identified a black Subaru estate, which is believed to have been involved in the dumping of hare carcasses in the Verwood area. I can confirm the registration for this vehicle is DU05 OKO and I would urge anyone who has seen this vehicle in the vicinity to please contact us," he added.

“I would also urge anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity or has any information that might assist our investigation to get in touch.”

Anyone with information contact Dorset Police at dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210079374.

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