Posts Tagged ‘sabs’

You may remember my blog entry from a few weeks ago regarding a Freedom of Information Request to West Mercia Police after they deployed significant resources to protect an illegal Mink Hunt (see here). I also suggested it may be a good idea to contact West Mercia and get them to explain themselves and that’s exactly what some of you did, so thanks to those who took the time and effort there. One particular query and response was forwarded to MorethanjustBadgers and I’d like to address the explanation given by West Mercia Police.

First of all the question was asked:

Why, may I ask are you spending all this money protecting people who are committing a crime? If you actually advised those hunting illegally that they would be arrested and charged perhaps they would then stop of their own accord. Thus those people who try to stop the illegal activity would not need to do so and your police force would not have to waste taxpayers time and money assisting criminals.

This is not the first time your police force has spent taxpayer’s money on enabling illegal hunting to continue. I fail to understand why your force allows these people to keep carrying out illegal acts and protects them whilst they are doing so.

And the Response:

As per our initial response, we must again re-alliterate that no police resources were pre-assigned to this hunting event, resources were only allocated in response to calls received from concerned members of the public (1). Whenever a call is received from a member of the public asking for police assistance, a dynamic risk assessment is applied and a decision made as to whether to send resources at all and if so, how many and of what type. Often, the decision maker around that allocation has to act on a partial picture of events on the ground based on incomplete and sometimes conflicting information (2).

Once resources arrived at the scene, a further assessment will take place as to what has happened, whether any offences have taken place and if there is a need for continuing police or partner agency involvement. Needless to say the more complex and involved the incident, and therefore require a longer police presence to complete a full assessment. The costs released in the freedom of information act request represent the time incurred by those units deployed to this incident, through until such time as they were released to other duties (3).

In incidents of this nature, the police are often faced by conflicting version of events from those present. They have to act based on what can be assessed at the time, and in the area of public protest, strike a proportionate balance between ensuring those who wish to go about their lawful activities may do so, while also ensuring those who wish to legally protest may also do so (4).

The police service does not enable illegal activity, nor protect those who engage in such activity. Where there is evidence of offences having been committed, we will conduct a proportionate investigation, but such allegations must be evidence based (5).

Let’s address these in order.

(1) As noted in my previous blog entry the police were not called by a concerned “member of the public” but in fact they were called by the hunt themselves. Although they could be perceived as members of the public they clearly have a vested interest in the outcome of the proceedings and will have no doubt painted a somewhat distorted picture of what was really going on.

(2) So the police openly admit they had little idea of what was going on and yet decided in very quick fashion to deploy multiple units as well as closing down a section of the town centre causing significant disruption to the local community and the justifying the cost of putting the helicopter on the scene. I would suggest whoever carried out their dynamic risk assessment may have overreacted.

(3) Once they had these multiple units in place it seems they were still unable to deduce who the criminals really were (threats of violence using a knife where made against a sab at the scene and captured on video). Perhaps it was a quiet day in that part of the country and very little crime taking place elsewhere as 10 vehicles and a helicopter would certainly seem to be overkill, perhaps they all fancied some action, not that there was any, we’re a non-violent direct action group although will defend ourselves if required.

(4) Well of course there was conflicting reports however there is one singular event which negates the rest of this part of the statement. We weren’t protesting and the hunt weren’t going about their lawful business. We were there to stop illegal hunting as we have a right to do and the hunt was hunting illegally. The hunter who called the police openly admitted to hunting in contravention of the Hunting Act. Police calls are routinely recorded so they could have referred back to the conversation and yet chose to ignore this information. We often have the police claim that the hunting act is a matter of personal choice, a conflict of morality and tradition which they won’t get involved with but let’s make things clear here. The Hunting Act 2004 is a fully endorsed piece of legislation supported by over 80% of the population and they are required to enforce that legislation as required by the law of the land. Now I’m not suggesting there was enough evidence in this instance to proceed with a prosecution however spending that amount of tax payer’s money on the protection of the hunt is certainly a kick in the teeth for anyone with a shred of decency and a concern for animal welfare.

(5) Well, pardon me if I’m wrong but you just did. An admittance of guilt is evidence of sorts and while the other evidence was largely circumstantial it was pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain what was going on. This statement just suggests that unless you have damming evidence of killing, undeniable proof of unlawful activity we’re really not interested, although we’re interested enough to deploy a helicopter, 10 cars and spend a shed load of cash. Surely a more proportionate response would have been a little less extreme and one sided. The police are without doubt severely blinkered on this issue.

It’s a funny old world we live in. Except I’m not laughing.

Thanks to the reader who supplied me with all the information, it is appreciated.

Another interesting day in the field last weekend when we paid another visit to our friends the Palmer Marlborough and Sandhurst Beagles. Clearly my arrest on the previous visit wasn’t enough to dampen our spirits and with the Wye Beagles throwing in the towel (see story here) we felt it necessary to keep the pressure on until all these archaic organisations do the same. Knowing there’ll be someone waiting for them every time they try and satisfy their sick blood lust will no doubt have a large bearing on their future and the sooner they admit defeat the better for all concerned. I’ll apologise first off for the lateness of the blog update, I’ve been busy editing the videos I shot during the day plus, and contrary to the pro hunt belief, I actually work full time.

Anyway on with the show . . .

As usual we staked out the kennels of the Palmer Marlborough’s, awaiting the dog van to leave the farm where they’re stationed. Using a private back road they managed to leave without us noticing however we picked them up moments later in convoy with another vehicle which we suspected would be a blocker. Getting on their tail our suspicions proved correct, the blocking vehicle, a white flatbed Landrover was in a position between us and the target dog van. The blocker vehicle slowed down to a crawl allowing the dog van to escape. However we don’t give up so easily and our quick thinking driver saw an opportunity to pass. I’ll leave it to the video below to show what happened next.

You can see by the actions of the driver of the Landrover that they’re getting extremely desperate and if it wasn’t for the skill of our driver the situation could have ended a lot worse than just some scrapes and a smashed wing mirror. Needless to say Mr Trevor Gore probably wished he hadn’t forced the collision when we pulled him over and 4 guys dressed in black combats came over for a polite chat. However we were now out of the game having lost contact with the target vehicle, or so we thought. Moments later it came careering across the field at a high rate of knots before re-joining the road. Either there was going to be some very battered Beagles in the back or it was indeed empty, we suspected and hoped for the latter.

Sandhurst Beagle Meet

Nice dogs, shame about the humans

Having already had an impact we changed tack and joined up with other units to spoil the fun of the Sandhurst Beagles. We found their meet thanks to some good intelligence and upon our arrival the field and support were enjoying drinks in the sun prior to their intended killing. Times are obviously getting tough as the numbers were well down and many of the support looked ready for the grave themselves. Clearly our arrival wasn’t exactly what they wanted to see and upon noticing the opposition shoulders sagged noticeably as a black sab shaped cloud permeated their mood. The Whipper In, a charming chap called Mark White, resplendent in plus fours and the most disgusting day-glow yellow trainers came out to voice his displeasure, shaking with rage he made his best attempt to look tough and take photos however we all saw through his bravado.

The ever charming Mark White

The ever charming Mark White

We all had a good giggle at his expense which as you can imagine did nothing to improve his demeanour and once again he proceeded to call on his friends in the boys in blue. However the huntsman had decided to take the dogs for a walk so we set off to follow them. With sabs stationed at every potential footpath junction and a river and railway line limiting access to the south we effectively had them boxed in and although we lost sight of them in private woodland they were clearly not hunting and when the weather took a turn for the worse they headed for home. Another successful day for us and safety for the local Hares. The sab wagons woes weren’t finished for the day however as a wheel had to be changed due to a flat tyre.

Not animal friendly

Not animal friendly

In other news it saddens me to hear that the Government and NFU are still hell bent on killing more of our Badgers. Although the threat of ten more cull zones seems to have been averted the word is they’ll carry on in Somerset and Gloucestershire with Dorset also looking likely to be included. Needless to say plans are in place to counter this once more. Now is the time to stand up and be counted, get off your arse and get on the front line. Make it physically and financially impossible for the slaughter to continue. The more people we can get out there the bigger difference we can make, this is so much more now than a wildlife issue. This is about doing what’s right and showing that an unelected minority must never have the power and influence over scientific and public opinion. Please contact me for advice on groups to join and action to take. In the weeks to come I’ll be sharing the knowledge gained from last year’s cull plus legal advice and dealing with the police.

Continuing from my previous blog post these scenes show the level some are prepared to stoop to project their blood lust.

The hunts Facebook page and Twitter accounts gone and their website stripped to just a meaningless home page. Do you understand now what it feels a little bit like to be hunted?

You reap what you sow.

I get regular updates from the various groups out there trying to keep our wildlife alive and there’s a constant theme which I find very disturbing. Only today an individual was hospitalised by the violent activities of those associated with the Llangeinor Hunt. Reports show not only were they prepared for the sab group but also willing to use extreme violence in order to project their illegal and disgusting passtime. (Full report here: https://www.facebook.com/BristolHuntSaboteurs)

Lets be very clear here, the remit of the sab groups around the country has always been direct action through non-violent means.

Non-violent.

Now dressing up in black and covering your face may make you look a little like a terrorist and I’ll admit in some cases probably not the best course of action however it’s done for a reason. Dressing the same makes you difficult to pick out in a crowd and also hides you from the potential repercussions that the hunts and their support seem to like to dish out from time to time. The reality is all the sabs want to do is save an animal from an agonising death and stop those who take enjoyment from such cruelty.

If you’re reading this you’re probably aware of my own brush with these types and the threat I received recently via the contact page on this blog. There is a credible threat to your person out there.

So you’re probably thinking the bad buys are those low life thugs who dish out their idea of righteousness in the form metal bars and pick-axe handles against unarmed people trying to stop illegality. Well clearly these arseholes just love violence and they’re obviously thicker than a McDonalds milkshake but quite often it’s ingrained in their psyche and they probably know no better. To be honest I pity them for not being able to understand the error of their ways and make even the shortest leap to understanding what it takes to be a decent human being in 2014.

The real bad guys here are the Police.

Time and again they do nothing. When the hunts call them with some spurious justification they turn up en-masse and waste time and public money harrassing the sabs, even a helicopter was used fairly recently. When the sabs come under violent physical attack they either turn up and again harrass the sabs or don’t turn up at all. One day, (perish the thought) someone could get killed and the blood will be firmly on the Police hands for not dealing with the real issues and the thugs who think they can get away with anything they please.

Are they under instructions from further up the chain of command to do nothing? Is the local super a hunt supporter or even member? Whatever the reason this is gross misconduct and a total dereliction of duty. If any Police read this feel free to contact me with your opinion, I’ll guarantee your anonymity. Until then get your house in order because you’re a disgrace and far from the imparial force you’re supposed to be.

Violence from the Llangeinor Hunt