Police have tackled several illegal hare coursing gangs in the Marlborough and Pewsey areas.

Officers at Marlborough, under their new commander Insp Andy Noble, have set up a new fast-track information system to let farmers know when hare coursers have moved into the area.

On Friday and Saturday police received intelligence that known gangs of coursers had arrived in the area.

Among early warning systems used by police are automatic number plate recognition systems that instantly flag up any suspect cars detected in the area.

Police used their new Farmwatch early warning system and sent texts to every farmer and landowner warning them that coursing gangs were believed to be in the district.

On Friday they received a number of calls that a gang with dogs was in the Ogbourne St George area and officers moved in and arrested one man from Bristol on an unrelated matter, said Sgt Liam Winstone.

On Saturday police received further calls that hare coursers had been seen in fields in the Burbage area and officers located three suspect vehicles.

One man was given a formal caution that if he returned to the area police would seize his vehicle.

Officers received further calls to the Upavon area where, again, they warned off gangs who had been preparing to run an illegal hare course.