POLICE say they were alerted to hare coursing taking in progress at Horton and Avebury this morning.

They are trying to trace an estate car, possibly a Ford Focus, after three men were seen behaving suspiciously on farmland at Horton near Devizes, at 9am today and are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.

Just before 11.45am police said hare coursing was in progress at Avebury.

They want to trace a green Ford Focus registered R*** NWF in connection with the incident.

Hare coursing - in which dogs are used to chase, catch and kill hares - was made illegal in the UK under the Hunting Act 2004.

Anyone convicted of the offence can receive a fine of up to £5,000 by a magistrates’ court.

Police have the power to seize and detain vehicles suspected of being used by those involved in hare coursing until the court hearing. Powers to seize vehicles may also be granted under section 30 of the Game Act 1831.

Hare coursing tends to start after harvest when large areas of land have been cleared and usually occurs at dawn or dusk.

Anyone with information should call police 101, or 999 if they see a crime in progress. Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Those taking part should not be approached.