Posts Tagged ‘Thames Valley Police’

Here’s a question for you, How many people do you see riding on the quad bike in the picture below?

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Here’s another question. Do you think the officer in the police car would have a good enough view to count the number of people on the quad?

Well apparently after a member of the public complained about the lack of action from the officers at the scene and they received this response from Thames Valley Police. Note in particular the highlighted bit in yellow.

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Apparently inspector James Davies is unable to see there are 4 people on the quad. Here’s an enlarged version just in case you’re in any doubt. They could have of course asked for the video to be supplied for further evidence of wrong doing if they had any doubts.

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It’s also clear from point 2 of the response that the police are choosing which crimes to police and which to ignore. If there’s a hunt going on all road traffic offences appear to become null and void – good to know that, I’ll pass it on to all sab drivers and let them know they can drive where they like and how they like, and yet why is it sab vehicles always get stopped for checks every time there’s a hunt in progress. Hmmm . . .

These are the details of the quad bike:

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Now the police may well get a different MOT response but I’m still fairly sure that quad isn’t designed for 4 people. Thames Valley Police are there to uphold the law for the benefit of the general public, not for the benefit of a small minority who like to hunt sentient mammals for fun and to be honest had I received that response I’d be pretty insulted.

Fell free to complain.

So after the revelations of the Kimblewick throwing a fox in front of the hounds story I covered last week and our little visit to them over the weekend it was interesting to note the amount of public feeling arising from this issue.

Our Facebook page receives lots of messages from the general public and those regarding the Kimblewick are probably more common than most. This hunt, like most, certainly seem to believe they are above not only the law but are happy to bully and harass the public and make it known they will do whatever they want regardless of public feeling. It was quite interesting to note that they are certainly not getting everything their own way and local people are starting to speak up against them.

We always advise people to call the police on 101 and report illegal hunting if they believe it to be taking place and we received several reports of the hunt out again yesterday (14/01/19 – don’t these people have proper jobs?) and they were in fact reporting this to the police.

Thames Valley Police (Aylesbury Vale) then felt it necessary to publish a post on their own social media page with some information. It’s quite long but worth reading so here’s a screen shot for you:

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What I’m going to do is break down the statement and highlight what they’ve got right and indeed wrong.

The first paragraph is all pretty standard stuff and I doubt there will be any real questions asked. What I will say is I’ve dealt with TVP several times in the past and they haven’t exactly left me feeling confident in their understanding of the law or indeed their willingness to uphold it in terms of wildlife legislation. While probably not the same officer a Wildlife Crime Officer from TVP did think it was legal to dig out and kill a fox from a badger sett a couple of seasons ago, something I witnessed while undercover monitoring of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt.

Point 1 – No argument here although the description of Trail Hunting seems to accept this is a “sport”. For a sport there has to be at least 2 sides which compete against each other. Not sure this really applies.

Point 2 – I love this one “…ask to speak to someone in charge”. Let’s face it if the hunt are chasing a fox they’re hardly likely to stop for you and answer your questions, in fact all the complaints we have is about the threatening nature of the hunt and their arrogance in dealing with the public. They have no qualms about hunting through private land and will generally ride roughshod over all and sundry. This is a totally unrealistic statement and quite frankly laughable.

Apparently the hunt will have also told the police they are out (well isn’t that nice) just so the police can probably ignore all the calls from the public and pretend they haven’t seen all those illegally ridden quad bikes.

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TVP ignoring the illegal quad on the road.

TVP have also stated they have some sort of working relationship with the Master of Hounds (how very cosy) who will insure there’s no unlawful “execution” of foxes. Execution? What the hell this? Execution is a term used for punishment. This is very odd wording to say the least. And is there a lawful execution of foxes and how the hell do we decide that?

Point 3 – The difference between Drag and Trail Hunting. So they’ve got this mostly right but what they fail to do here (and they’re still calling it a hound sport) is highlight the fact that trail hunting is a new activity designed to simulate real fox hunting and it’s a fox scent that they use, although don’t ask where they get that from. We all know it’s just an alibi for real hunting but I’m not going to go over all that again.

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The Kimblewick trail layer. A dry duster flopping about in the air and behind the hounds isn’t really going to work now is it.

Point 4 – Yes, live species do naturally live out in the open (no shit Sherlock) and the hounds are almost certainly going to pick up the scent of a fox if you put them in an area they are likely to inhabit. The fact is the hunters want this and they are sure hell not going to stop the hounds once they get on to one. But this is the big one:

“The accidental killing of a fox is not illegal”.

Well there you go then boys and girls, off you pop and kill as many foxes as you like. As long as you make it look like an “accident” you’re all good. We’ve got your backs. It’s nice they also perpetuate the tradition argument to make it sound all nice and socially acceptable. Tradition never was, and never will be, an excuse for cruelty and law breaking.

TVP’s explanation of the hounds on a scent also leaves a lot to be desired. It’s almost amusing to assume the public will believe the hounds are in distress. Anyone who’s witnessed hounds on full cry will see the very singular and focused nature of the hounds and their desire to catch their quarry. It can be quite a bone chilling sound.

Their understanding of the use of a horn is once again completely inaccurate. Only one person uses a horn during a hunt, and that’s the huntsman. The purpose of the horn is a method of communication between the huntsman and the hounds. There are several calls the huntsman can make with the most important being to hunt on or to stop. You’ll often hear the former when they are in cry (called doubling) but very rarely the latter. And again this is nothing to do with just “tradition”, what total nonsense.

Fox hunting does indeed remain a controversial subject, not just between hunters and animal rights advocates but the wider general public, mainly because they’re fed up with the lack of policing and the continued abuse of our wildlife carried out by a minority group who it would appear are above the law. And let’s just remind TVP this is the same hunt which was filmed throwing a trapped fox in front of hounds for them to hunt. How is that investigation going by the way?

If TVP want to get in touch you can find me easily enough. I’m happy to educate your officers on the reality of “trail hunting”.

Make your feelings know.

Thames Valley Police (Aylesbury Vale) Facebook Page

TVP Police and Crime Commissioner

TVP Chief Constable.

 

ADDITIONAL

Just look at the different approach TVP have towards hare coursing, the same legislation applies.

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It’s been quite a crazy couple of weeks, I’d had little time to put fingers to keyboard so it’s about time I caught up and updated you all whats been going on in the world of animal protection.

Without doubt the biggest recent story was the unprovoked attack by Fitzwilliam Hunt supporters on our Friends North Cambs Hunt Sabs. They’d been sabbing with us earlier in the day and we’d done a fine job on the Oakley but after they left us they popped by to find out what the Fitzwilliam were up to. It made national news and was the lead item on the ITV Anglia television news complete with interview of the driver involved. If you haven’t seen the video footage I’ve included it below. I was happy to help our comrades to edit and put the footage together for them.

As you can see it’s revealing footage and the assailants are clearly out to cause serious harm to non-violent activists. It once again shows the levels these people will stoop to in defence of their sick pastime. As I understand it the driver of the pimped up Land Rover handed himself in to police the following day. All the others have been identified and their identities passed on to the authorities however at the time of writing I’m unaware of any arrests or charges made. I’m well aware of the time it takes to investigate crimes and the need for due diligence however I’m fairly sure had the roles been reversed several doors would have been kicked in some time ago. We can only hope that a proper investigation follows and those responsible held to account for their dangerous and violent actions.

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Speaking of being held to account self styled and appointed hunt steward Shaun Stacey was sentenced at Northants Magistrates Court last week for multiple assaults on sabs on separate occasions. Now Mr Stacey and I are well known to each other. He’s threatened me on many occasions and also mentioned my partner in doing so. Of course this kind of thing only stiffens my resolve but it was nice to see him have the embarrassment of having to wear a tag for 4 months, get a £1010 fine and a community order. Only the presence of Stephen Welford the Countryside Alliance go to lawyer at the hearing prevented a more serious sentence. Amusingly he’s apparently physically incapable of carrying out community order work (fit enough go assault people though) so has to undergo 10 sessions of compassion therapy. Judging by his continued defiance on Facebook I’d suggest he may need a few more. Word is he’s also on disability benefit, I wonder if that would be affected by the money he receives from the hunts which employ his thuggery services? Further to that he’s also in court next week to answer yet more charges so there is the possibility that there could be more bad news for Mr Stacey.

Another interesting point to note was how quickly his so called friends and fellow stewards dropped him, denying he was part of their group. Just a couple of weeks ago while in discussion with one of them (which I recorded on video) their sentiment was very clear, “he’s nothing to do with any of us”. Must be nice to be popular.

The fact that the CA are now endorsing this kind of violence (they would generally wash their hands of this kind of thing in the past) once again stinks of desperation on their part. Tim Bonner likes to continually bang on about masked sabs but the simple fact is the only ones relying on violence and intimidation are the pro-hunt side and now they seem to be openly supporting and defending it. They truly are an insidious organisation but are catastrophically missing the point to all this. The British Public overwhelmingly support the ban on hunting and bad PR like this should be roundly condemned. Their silence and indeed open support only furthers the interests of those who opposed them.

Finally here’s an interesting images taken only last Saturday on the Tyringham Estate in Buckinghamshire.

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It’s Thames Valley Police attending an Oakley Hunt meet on the estate. They were called by us as they openly hunted and caused havoc in the villages nearby as hounds ran riot causing mayhem to road users and the villagers alike.

The woman on the horse speaking to the Officers is Oakley Hunt Master Caroline Evans from Wooton Green. The woman on foot is Lucy Hill, land owner and and owner of local Estate Agents Micheal Graham. Here’s the info from Companies House.

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It would seem that the officers who attended believed that no offence has taken place as no foxes had been killed (mainly due to us saving them). Therefore one has to ask; if someone was walking down the street with a firearm on display acting in a hostile manner would the officers refuse to act until that person shot someone? Of course not.  One of our sabs proceeded to explain the relevant laws to the officers but as usual they didn’t seem at all interested and left shortly afterwards, no doubt suckered in by the complete bag of lies told to them by Evans and Hill.

So perhaps if you’re looking to sell your home it’s probably a good idea to avoid this particular agents bearing in mind that not only do they host the Oakley but also the Northants Mink Hounds who hunt both Mink and Otter in the nearby river in the summer months along with the shooting interests on the estate. They are, by any definition, huge enablers of wildlife abuse.

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We’re into that time of year again when the hunts once more ride out to do their cruel deeds. My Facebook feed was full of reports from the various sab groups throughout the country as they took on the hunts in their various areas on what was opening day for many. I was pleased to see that there were no kills, this was probably due to a combination of poor scenting conditions (the day was very mild and bright) and the proactive actions of sabs. My group joined up with our good friends at Berkshire Hunts Sabs and we irritated the hell out of the Old Berkshire Beagles (full report here).

Hound exercise. Yeah, OK.

Hound exercise. Yeah, OK.

As is the norm we faced the usual hostility from all those on the other side but it’s water off a ducks back to us and it’s always a good indication of your success. Whilst trying to locate the pack we happened upon a group of support, all eager of course to watch something get killed. Their reaction to us was instant and aggressive, the land owner attempted to run me over with his pickup and then tried to assault one of our female sabs, all the time hurling a torrent of four letter abuse. This was matched but another female supporter who clearly had confused moral standings and somewhat lacking in compassion (plus a few other things as well no doubt), calling me sad for not being able to read a map. Of course I knew exactly where we were and pointed out to her that the definition of sad was gaining pleasure from watching a sentient mammal being hunted to exhaustion and killed. Their reaction was exactly what we wanted, it proved we were on the right tracks and they were desperate to stop us. And sure enough we located the hunt moments later and they were forced to move off.

Careful deary you;ll blow a blood vessel.

Careful deary you’ll blow a blood vessel.

Unlike fox hunting, beagling is very difficult to cover up. Beagles aren’t really scent followers to the extent that fox hounds are and due to the smaller areas and the way the quarry (the Brown Hare) responds it’s blatantly obvious that they’re breaking the law. To counter this they are very secretive and try to hunt on private land with very little public access however we’ve never regarded such restrictions as a big issue to circumnavigate. Trespass is a civil offence and you can gain access to private property to stop a criminal offence taking place. In this instance the hunts claims of “hound exercise” were completely laughable. Why dress up in your best hunting regalia (green jackets, white plus fours and green socks) and have a number of foot supporters watching if you’re only taking the hounds for a walk? Another point to briefly note is the general age of the followers. If this is a reflection of the activity as a whole then it should die out fairly shortly.

Look at that face, years of pent up anger have left it's mark.

Look at that face, years of pent up anger have left it’s mark.

In due course the police arrived and questioned us on our activities. For once they were even handed and when they realised we weren’t terrorists and were only armed with various vegan cakes and savouries they were happy to keep an eye on things and one officer, a dog handler (3124 from Thames Valley) seemed quite keen to find the hunt and equire as to what they were up to. Here was a guy who’d worked with dogs for all of his working life and knew exactly how the breeds behaved and saw through the lies the hunt were spreading. It was just a shame he didn’t arrive earlier as by this time the hunt had pretty much called it a day and packed up. It really does make a change to be able to be reporting on decent policing, let’s hope in the coming season I can report on it more often. For our own side we’ve been making efforts to educate the police and indeed work with them so they understand who we are and what we do. I’ve had a meeting with our local Police and Crime Commissioner and a senior inspector and will next week be meeting with a wildlife crime officer from an adjoining force.

As an organisation we’re fighting a PR war as well as the direct action in the fields and part of that is dispelling the myths perpetrated by the hunts which clearly affect the judgment of the police. Now I’m fully aware that some senior officers and judicial personnel are pro-hunt and probably even ride out so I’m not expecting miracles however we’ve made a start and hopefully that will reflect on the action the police take in regards to our operations.

So from now on it’ll be a busy old time. If you feel like standing up for our wildlife now’s the time to get involved.

http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/index.php/get-involved

bedsandbuckhuntsabs@riseup.net