Just like Agent Mulder once said; “The truth is out there”.

He wasn’t wrong either. The thing is with the expansion of social media like Facebook and Twitter news can proliferate extremely quickly. We’re not talking about the Government or Murdoch controlled type of news which is always skewed to fit a certain agenda or opinion, we’re talking about basic facts. It’s never been easier to do your own sleuthing or even recording the news on your phone if you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. That news can then be uploaded warts and all, and go viral with thousands of views in no time at all.

Those on the front line of wildlife protection have embraced this fully and rightly so. While the authorities may stand by and take no action the general public can be engaged immediately, forcing those with the power to make change into action through nothing more than email and comments on Twitter or Facebook. A couple of incidents came to light recently which perfectly highlight this, one very close to home but I’ll get to that later.

First up is the case of PC 5336 Clair Ford as seen in the video clip above, filmed and released by North Wales Hunt Saboteurs. You don’t have to be an expert in law to know what PC 5336 is doing is a clear conflict of interest. It’s not the first time a service officer has been caught out (see here and here) but what’s most shocking in this case is the utter blatancy of the officer in question and her belief that she can abuse her position of power to facilitate an illegal activity and not face any consequences. Well is would seem PC Ford has underestimated her opponents and that’s something you should never do.

A tweet from NWHS to Cheshire Police shortly afterwards got this response.

twitter

So within a day or so of the video being uploaded to their Facebook page and then widely shared it would seem the police have been forced to take action. PR is a vital tool in the armory of any group trying to reveal the truth to the wider public and if it’s one thing which the authorities don’t like it’s bad PR and the resultant pressure. The general public (bless em) like nothing more than creating change from the comfort of their homes and no doubt the many complaints the police received where integral to the quick response. What we want now is suitable action to be taken and not some cover up as has been the case in the past. Just in case you can sign the petition right here.

Closer to home now and if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll be no doubt up to speed with my dealing with Bedfordshire Police and their general attitude towards hunting. Things had been going fairly well, there had been a definite improvement in how we were being treated in the field and further to that we were even given our own dedicated police liaison officer who I met with last week. Now I’m never going to be completely trusting of the police but you have to play the hand you’re dealt and nothing will change unless you engage. I’m fairly certain none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for both myself and our group using the tools which we have at our disposal to force the police into action. I’m told our local hunt (the Oakley) also have their own liaison officer and that’s to be expected as the police can’t seem to be favouring one side however thinking about it you have to ask a few questions.

We know from experience the Oakley openly break the law. They pay only minor lip service in creating an alibi for themselves in terms of laying trails and they still employ both terrier men and hunt thugs as unlicensed security. Surely, a completely legal hunt would have nothing to hide and therefore no need for these kind of services? They are clear indications of intent to break the law so why do Bedfordshire police feel the need to give them credibility with their own liaison officer? This isn’t about fairness, its about upholding the law. The police also have a meet card from the hunt, will they be policing these meets when we’re not present. This action implies the police believe the lies the hunt are spouting and both liaison officers are nothing more than a PR exercise used to appease the wider public. The remit of the liaison officers is nothing more than to create a dialogue and perhaps act as a conduit for complaints and issues. I was told in no uncertain terms they weren’t going to act as security against the thugs and wouldn’t be making arrests if they were in the field.

spray

Sab being sprayed by a thug.

I’m still waiting for the call I was promised before the weekend to see how everything went last Saturday (10/12). I’ve got quite a lot to say considering the amount of abuse and intimidation we faced, our colleagues at South Cambs Hunt Sabs had people assaulted, had property stolen and were sprayed with dye. Not only that they were threatened with arrest for not providing details and bogus claims of a stolen phone. I’m fairly sure had the boot been on the other foot and sabs had behaved in such a manner several would now be on bail pending further inquiries. After a decent start Bedfordshire police once again reverted to type, were more interested in the nonsense claims of the hunt support and the complaints of trespass (civil offence). Amusingly one officer said we had to submit written evidence of wrong doing before we could gain access to private land in order to stop the criminal offence taking place. I might be going our on a limb here but I’d suggest by the time we did that the fox would be dead, the hounds back in kennels and all the riders in the pub having their last drink before heading home. Make no mistake, we witnessed the hounds chasing a fox and a report from a member of the public suggests the hounds rioted on a deer and it could be heard squealing in terror.

The point is without blogs, social media and the internet plus the people who know how to take advantage of this resource none of this information would have made it into the public domain. Some of the police may still think we’re a bunch of long haired, hippie layabouts in need of a shower (the pro hunt side still believe this crappy stereotype) but the are finding out to their cost we’re the exact opposite. Most have good jobs, are bright, well educated, articulate and most importantly, are well versed in making sure the facts see the light of day. Sooner or later, the truth will always come out.

Lets see how long it takes for them to contact me.

Comments
  1. Thank you for your enormously valuable perseverance in getting those who are supposed to be upholding the laws of the land and who let us all down brought to attention. People who take pleasure in harming beautiful animals are not fit to be in places of responsibility and must not only be removed and kept under observation.

    THANK YOU AGAIN.

  2. Deborah Swift says:

    Thanks I love your blog x

    Sent from my iPhone

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