Five men have been arrested on suspicion of illegal hare coursing in Oxfordshire.

They were arrested at about 10.30pm on Tuesday near to Park Corner in Nettlebed.

Police launched Operation Migrate targeting those responsible for hare coursing across rural Oxfordshire at the beginning of October.

The five men are all from the Slough area in Berkshire and were released on bail today pending further enquiries.

Sgt Keith Stacey, of the neighbourhood policing team, said: “These offenders have a total disregard for residents, landowners and their property and the safety of others. Offenders have been doing this throughout Thame, Wallingford and the rural areas around Henley.

“They cause damage to crops and livestock by driving recklessly through hedges or fences to chase animals like deer or hares.

“I would like to reassure residents that we will not tolerate this behaviour and are working hard to catch those responsible. The offenders are generally using 4x4 vehicles and could be using the Ridgeway to get access to the land, from the M40 to Benson.

“I urge anyone who might see any suspicious activity, or suspicious vehicles being driven across farmland or field to contact the police immediately.”

Anyone with information on hare coursing should contact police on 08458 505505 or speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.