Two men have been issued with community protection warnings following reports of hare coursing on farmland.

Officers received a call to the Newton under Roseberry area, near Guisborough, at about 1.55pm on Thursday, January 4 reporting that three males were hare coursing and were walking towards Nunthorpe.

Hare coursing is an illegal activity where dogs are used to chase, catch and kill hares and it is a serious problem in some rural areas.

Several minutes after the first report, officers received a further call reporting that three males were poaching on farmland in the Nunthorpe area.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Cleveland Police apprehended two men suspected of hare coursing

Uniformed officers were sent to investigate the two incidents and after a lengthy foot pursuit through boggy farmland two men were detained.

They were searched and issued with community protection warnings in relation to wildlife offences.

Breaching a community protection warning is a criminal offence, and can be punished with a fixed penalty notice.

Neighbourhood Policing Team Constable Lee Mapplebeck said: “I hope this sends out a strong message to anyone wishing to hare course within Cleveland that we will not tolerate such behaviour and we will seize your car and equipment.

“If anyone has any concerns or issues they would like to speak to officers about, I would encourage them to contact us on 101.”