Appeal against ‘staggering’ police notice issued to hunt

Appeal against ‘staggering’ police notice issued to hunt

  • The issuance of a community protection notice to the Warwickshire Hunt, which would constitute a criminal offence, has been described as “hasty, extreme and breathtaking”.

    Warwickshire Police’s rural crime team announced on December 14 that it had warned the Hunt in May against “anti-social use of the rural road network” but was still finding “inappropriate and dangerous use of the roads”.

    The notice “imposes conditions to address this behavior” under the Anti-Social Behavior Crime and Policing Act 2014. This means the hunt must notify police in advance of “events” and the times and locations of road crossings.

    “There are also requirements to inform us who will be controlling dogs during the event and for the organization to inform participants of their responsibilities when crossing roads at certain points,” said a spokesman for the rural crime team. “A violation of the conditions constitutes a criminal offence.”

    Warwickshire Hunt chairman Sam Butler said H&H The hunt is appealing the decision.

    “This is a rash and extreme action by the police,” he said. “The Warwickshire Hunt will be appealing this notice and expects it to be overturned. There is no justification for issuing the notice and the rural community will be extremely surprised that the police have time to pursue such issues when the vast majority of rural crime goes unaddressed.”

    Oliver Hughes, chief executive of the British Hound Sports Association, said H&H the association supports the hunt in its complaint and shares the expectation that the decision will be lifted.

    The Countryside Alliance’s campaign for Hunting Director Polly Portwin pointed out that the Alliance’s Rural Crime Survey indicated that issues such as farm machinery theft and fly-tipping are top concerns for the Warwickshire rural community.

    “So this action will do very little to improve relations between the police force and those who live and work in remote areas,” she said H&H. “It is amazing that Warwickshire Police have taken these extreme measures against a lawful activity such as forensics, while appearing to be doing very little to combat the actual crimes affecting the broader rural community. We support the Warwickshire Hunt in their appeal and look forward to this notice being lifted.”

    Warwickshire Deputy Chief Constable Ben Smith said H&H The force was notified of the appeal and as the case is therefore pending he could not comment on the details of the evidence which “is part of the notification”.

    “As Warwickshire Police we will continue to remain impartial with our primary objective of complying with the law and balancing the respective rights of hunting with members of the community who have raised concerns about their behaviour,” he said. “Ultimately, it will be up to a court to decide where that balance lies. The matter is currently in court and both parties are awaiting notification of a court date.”

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