A shocking real-life account of hare coursing has been shared by a farmer in Gloucestershire.

In it, the farmer reveals that knives and savaged bodies of hares have been left outside his children's bedroom windows and that he has been chased by armed organised crime gangs in vehicles.

The video here shows the anonymous farmer explain the terrible experiences that he and his family have had with hare coursers on their farmland.

This shocking tale is told as part of a video by Gloucestershire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The farmer says that his farm has been targeted 44 times in the last winter alone.

He says that organised crime gangs with lurchers come two or three times a week.

“We’ve had knives left outside the house, they’ve killed hares just outside the girls’ bedrooms, and there’s reports that these people carry firearms with them too.

“It’s no longer a case of poaching the odd rabbit here or there, these are dangerous gangs coming out with lurchers, two or three times per week.

"They film the hare coursing and sell the footage to make money.”

The video has been released in the same week that the government announced plans to strengthen the powers and penalties available to tackle hare coursing.

The proposals include prison sentences of up to six months and unlimited fines for offenders.

Courts can also reimburse costs incurred by the police in kennelling dogs seized in connection with a hare coursing-related offence and they can ban an offender from owning or keeping a dog.

Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Before I was elected, victims of rural crime often told me they felt like ‘second class citizens.’

"Their homes and businesses are remote, leaving them vulnerable to attacks from organised criminal groups looking to target their machinery or destroy their land.

“But it’s not just the inconvenience to their livelihood that’s the issue.

"Farmers are facing threats, their family homes are attacked late at night, sometimes farmers are chased by crime groups in vehicles for trying to protect their land.

"It leaves farming families anxious and scared, and this is simply not acceptable.

“I have asked the Chief Constable to prioritise rural crime as part of my Police and Crime Prevention Plan, which will be released later this month, and I hope this means the hard-working rural crime team will get the support and resources they need to make a difference to the lives of those living in rural areas."