You may remember that some time ago I suspected a senior member of the local police was a rider with the Oakley hunt (see here). To recap, my suspicions were aroused when multiple units would attend a fox hunt and sometimes even the police helicopter. What you have to remember is that this is from a county where police funding is critically poor and has the large urban conurbation of Luton to police. So how do they justify all this expense, clearly someone was pulling some strings.

I then did some digging on one of the new masters of the Oakley and turned up this little beauty (see here). Now I try not to tar everyone or organisations with the same brush. I like to take people as I find them and reserve judgement on their actions rather than words so consider myself fairly even handed when dealing with the boys and girls in blue. Cambridgeshire police have certainly come up trumps in their investigation of the Fitzwilliam and my experience of them in the field has been generally positive. With this in mind we’ve had a continued dialogue and meetings with representatives from all 3 local forces, Beds, Herts and Cambs.

In a recent email to the Bedfordshire area commander outlining some concerns I had for the coming hunting seasons, he informed me that he had passed on the policing of hunting to our wildlife liaison offer and had also passed on my correspondence. Now that seemed fair, hunting would certainly be covered by that officers remit however straight away the name he gave me started to ring some bells – Inspector Tracey Day.

I know our local badger group had made several complaints to her regarding badger persecution and little had been done but that wasn’t what was making my spider senses tingle, it was something else. It then dawned on me – remember this picture from a blog post a few weeks ago?

beds police equine team

Pictured here is Steve Harris, now a master of the Oakley, also in the picture is Inspector Tracey Day. So straight away we have a link between a master of the hunt and a serving police officer. Not much there though I guess but a little further digging turned up little snippet from the Bedfordshire On Sunday.

press-cutting

So Tracey clearly has links to the Oakley going back a very long time indeed. It’s well know that hunts have Pony Club sections to encourage youngsters to start hunting, that is indeed their sole purpose. Are to we safely assume then that Tracey hunts with the Oakley? I checked all my previous video and while the images of the person riding are inconclusive I sent some pictures to a horse expert friend of mine and she’s 90-95% sure the horse is the same as one that Tracey rides (not the one shown below). Whether she does or not I believe there is enough of an association to be a conflict of interest and she certainly shouldn’t be responsible for policing of hunts within the country. I outlined this potential conflict in another email to the area commander and he had informed me that the matter had been pushed further up the chain of command. I’m currently waiting to see what develops.

tracey-day

Inspector Tracey Day with one of her horses (2010).

One interesting little point to note is that Bedfordshire police don’t seem to regard illegal hunting with hounds as any concern. Their priorities regarding wildlife crime can be found here. There is no mention whatsoever of the hunting act and yet coursing and poaching are listed. One has to wonder why this is the case but I’m fairly sure we can all make our own minds up. Perhaps you should contact the Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire and ask for their policy on hunting and if she thinks there’s a conflict of interest occurring here. Kathryn Holloway can be contacted on 01234 842064 or email pcc@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Let me know if you get any response.

UPDATE: I’ve just been contacted by the Chief Inspector and we shall discuss matters tomorrow. Lets see what transpires.

Comments
  1. It’s truly outrageous that tax payers money is put to this use of policing ILLEGAL HUNTS why are they people continually getting away with this why do the police harass and arrest SABS who on the whole are doing the job there failing to do and why is so much evidence being ignored the people of Britain have lost all confedance in our police force our Govermant and our justice system this can not be allowed to continue it is ILLEGAL and the police are falling us and our wild life on every level shame on them all.😡.

  2. giles bradshaw says:

    I don’t really get your point – are you saying she is breaking the law? Some people hunt illegally some people don’t – what exactly is the issue? Some people drive illegally – would it be a conflict of interest if a police officer had a car?

    • If a police officer hunts, or has strong connections to a hunt, then there is a clear conflict of interest in the policing of hunting.The hunt in question openly hunt illegally. Is that hard to understand?

      • gilesbradshaw says:

        So if a police officer drives is there a clear conflict of interest in them being a traffic officer? And where is the actual evidence that the hunt in question hunt illegally? Is it just something you are saying or is there evidence?

      • I know who you are Giles and surprised you fail to see the obvious conflict of interest in policing. You’re not daft, so I can only assume you’re just trolling. BTW we have hours of footage of the Oakley illegally hunting but as you know the legislation is extremely poorly written making prosecution almost impossible.

  3. gilesbradshaw says:

    I can’t speak for the Oakley hunt but I have been informed by the police that I am breaking the Hunting Act because I use my dogs to flush wild deer on my farm in Devon. However I have also been informed by the police that in spite of their insistence I am breaking the law they won’t prosecute. I’ve been through this in fine detail with them and that is their policy.

    I had a long voicemail from Inspector Roger Bartlett and to quote him:

    “There are plenty of meaningless laws that we don’t enforce.”

    I am according to the police breaking the law because I refuse to shoot the deer I flush.

    In my opinion flushing deer from cover is a harmless and non cruel pursuit it’s simply a nonsense that I should have to shoot the deer ASAp in order to exempt flushing them from cover from the law.

    I don’t agree with the Hunting Act and I don’t comply with it. By allowing me to openly flout the law the police are supporting it being broken with impunity.

    • Hardy Hughes says:

      Giles champions an entirely benign form of deer management which simply involves searching for flushing and chasing wild deer with dogs. There’s nothing wring with what he does and the police are right to allow it. It’s the law that is flawed not his actions. I am quite sure the accidental activist can see that. If people thought he was being cruel the sabs would be down on him like a ton of bricks.

    • Gerät O says:

      What people don’t seem to understand is that the Hunting Act supports a modified form of Stag Hunting. Those who fully support the law – such as the League Against Cruel Sports support this form of stag hunting remaining legal. Giles is not stag hunting because he refuses to kill the deer. It’s precisely the fact he isn’t stag hunting that makes his flushing illegal. He is made a criminal for refusing to cause cruelty to wildlife. A law ‘against’ hunting that criminalises people for refusing to hunt is ridiculous. The law is truly an ass.

    • If you are not complying with the Hunting Act because you do not agree with it, you should be ashamed of yourself. The Hunting Bill was a free vote because many people see it as a cruel act to put a pack of dogs onto an animal after it has been chased to exhaustion. A law is a law and when evidence has been produced of it being broken then the Police should act and not comply with the breaker of that law. That just shows that our Police Force is not fit for purpose. You should be ashamed of yourself causing deer stress and pain for as you say ‘flushing them out’ with your dogs and not shooting them, does that mean your dogs are allowed to kill them without you bothering to shoot them first. If so, then you are a very sad human being that can stand by and watch it happen. Or do you mean you let the dogs flush it out then you shoot it, either way you are causing the Deer trauma, why not just shoot it to put it out of its misery immediately, but no, that would be too easy, you would not have your ‘fun’ seeing the animals terrified. Perhaps one day when you really need the Police and they do not come you will realise they should do their job and uphold the law at ALL times.

    • pixiegoumas says:

      You’re obviously not killing them which is a good thing, but I still wouldn’t say it’s “harmless and non cruel”. Would you like to be chased by a pack of dogs if you had no idea if they were trying to kill you or not, just because somebody else thinks it’s fun?

  4. Katie says:

    Surprised you have decided to put your law breaking on a public forum. You said it yourself. The police are allowing you to openly flout the law. Clearly they are deciding which laws to enforce and which to ignore. Unfortunately I’m not at all surprised. Fortunately there are many who will continue fighting to force them to be less selective in their choices

    • Gerät O says:

      The police are right to allow him to break the law because the law is clearly absurd. What are you proposing – that the police prosecute hm for NOT killing wildlife? Get real!!!!!!

    • giles bradshaw says:

      Katie – what are your reasons for thinking it would be better if I complied with the Hunting Act? How would it be less cruel for me to kill wildlife?

  5. I think everyone can agree the current act is a shambles, however it is my opinion that this shambles is being exploited by those who wish to continue to hunt, much as they did before the ban. Thousands of hunters signed a document declaring they would do so. I’m not talking about shifting a few deer with your dogs but hunting foxes (and Hares), chasing and killing them and using the ridiculous claim of following a trial. The act need to be re-written, strengthened, loop holes removed and the police need to enforce it.

  6. For those with trouble understanding the difference between a “clean boot drag” and “trail” hunt. http://www.ifaw.org/united-kingdom/resource-centre/2015-ifaw-trail-lies-report

  7. giles bradshaw says:

    “Do enlighten me as to what Giles actually does.”

    I use dogs to flush deer from cover

    • Vlad Shcherbin says:

      That’s not the point though. You then deliberately don’t kill them – which is illegal.

    • onlythelonelysite says:

      Why must you flush deer from cover? It seems to name that ,land and wildlife management or game keepers just love to scare the shit out of, trap maim and kill wildlife. Just leave it alone. So what air the deer are in your cover. Find something else to do.. or think about like planting trees and hedgerows .
      Why are people having a problem understanding that the point about a police officer that is employed to deal with making sure illegal hunters are bought to justice may have a conflict of interest if she actually regularly joins in on the hunt.
      Driving a car is not illegal. Hunting with dogs is.

      • jean says:

        You can ‘phone Bartlett on 101 – he says that the police will not be ‘goaded’ into enforcing the Hunting Act.

  8. Sally says:

    Surely Giles needs to be careful in naming a Police Officer who claims not to enforce the law. Roger Bartlett was our local officer so many people in this area are aware of who he is.
    To use a comparison with hunting and driving offences is just clutching at straws and seems a rather desperate argument.

    • Vlad Shcherbin says:

      The law says you have to shoot the deer so you should shoot the deer. It’s not up to Roger Bartlett nor you which laws you have to obey. The police officer is probably anti hunt and therefore has qualms about you killing wildlife.

  9. Vlad Shcherbin says:

    Has anyone got any information as to why the Hunting Act requires wildlife to be shot?

  10. Katie says:

    And why would you want to?

  11. r3d5 says:

    Loving this blog and the comments. I had no idea the hunting act was so badly thought out as to actually ban someone from NOT hunting a deer he flushes out with a dog. There must be a hell of a lot of Hunt criminals in the UK. Thank God the police take a step back and realise how insane the law is!

  12. Sally says:

    Having just read an article in the Huffington Post from Giles Bradshaw, I can see the point he is trying to make. The law states that if he flushes deer then he has to shoot them. He states that he flushes deer but does not shoot them but lets them escape which according to the Hunting Act means he is breaking the law. Therefore, he gets them off his land but does not harm them. I think what Giles is actually trying to say is that the Hunting Act is an ass. I have to agree with him on this. Blair stated in his manifesto that he would ban hunting with dogs. Then, after Charlie Boy and a lot of other so called ‘Lords & Ladies’ and hunting scum kicked up, he backtracked and passed an Act that was totally unenforcable but would please those who had actually believed he would follow through on the manifesto believing that was what he had done. However the loopholes allow hunting to continue. The man is a total coward which has now been acknowledged but unfortunately that does not help those who are determined to try and stop this horrendous barbaric activity. The only way a far a I can see is to pass a new Hunting Act which totally bans the activity in any form. I detest the fact that I pay Council Tax for the Police Force who do absolutely nothing to stop the hunting scum of North Devon.

    • Katie says:

      I agree Sally. There needs to be a total ban on hunting with dogs with no get out clauses. It’s the only way to stop these arrogant self entitled barbarians from defying the law and it would also leave the Police with no option other than to prosecute. doubt it will happen in my lifetime but can only hope

  13. Jean says:

    Rather than insisting hunts hunt and kill the animals they flush wouldn’t it have made more sense to ban them from hunting the animals they flush?

  14. Lou says:

    Giles bores the world & his wife with this nonsense. Fact is, he appeared in a countryside alliance film promoting hunting and went to the European court of human rights to testify for the CA that the hunting act was denying a ‘human right’ to hunt!! Obviously the case was laughed out of court. Giles pops up with his nonsense to court attention & because I suspect he pines for a pat on the head from Tim Bonner & others. We all know that we need the hunting act strengthened desperately-not via Giles’ disingenuous ‘make all cruelty illegal’ nonsense-this was a plan by Lord Donoghue to make cruelty illegal-in other words to reinstate hunting just as before and the onus would be on the prosecution to prove cruelty (the assumption being that hunting isn’t cruel!) Laughably transparent but full marks to the sly, sneaky hunters for effort. The bloodlust is strong: they’ll say and do anything to terrify, pursue, maim and dig up our sensitive wildlife for their perverted, foaming at the mouth jizzing in their pants kicks. You’ll never meet a more sly or more despicable group of people.

    • jean says:

      If we oppose all animal cruelty being illegal – which forms of animal cruelty do we think should remain legal?

    • Sally says:

      Lou, You have certainly hid the nail on the head! Well done for exposing this idiot and you certainly have the hunting fraternity well sussed.

      • Lou says:

        Thanks-yes know him of old via twitter. The sucking up by many of the minor hunt apologists to the likes of Boner and Bunter (Jamie Foster) is something to behold. Useful if you’ve overdone the vino and wish to throw up 😉
        The Donoghue proposal and the claims of those like Giles to ‘make all cruelty illegal’ is just another prong in their campaign to get repeal and be able to hunt openly (which they’re already doing but they don’t like the fact that there’s a tiny chance they might get caught).
        Ps Giles also allows the hunt on his land.

      • He doesn’t seem to be worrying about getting ‘caught’ – he is rubbing people’s faces in his despicable crimes!

  15. The law is the law and it must be enforced. Everyone knows that Devon and Cornwall police support hunt crime. What Giles Bradshaw does is hunt crime – no ifs no buts. The police by refusing to take any action whatsoever are supporting the illegal murder of wildlife in the most sick manner imaginable.

  16. Whilst I approve of a good discussion and certainly welcome the visitors to my blog I feel we have wandered somewhat off course and don’t wish to feed Mr Bradshaw’s ego any further by making this about him. Please keep any further comments relevant to the issues raised by the current publication.

    Thanks AA

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