Hunts a low priority for the police, says Clarke

#1
Police chiefs are right to give a low priority to enforcing the ban on hunting with hounds which comes into force this week, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said yesterday.

Mr Clarke was speaking after the publication at the weekend of internal documents from the Association of Chief Police Officers which said that policing the ban "has not been afforded high priority in the National Policing Plan".

Mr Clarke said that policing of the ban was a matter for chief constables, but added: "If you look at the priorities police have to deal with – dealing with drugs, people trafficking, crime, all kinds of issues – I don't expect foxhunting to be very high on the priorities of any particular police force.

"What I do believe is that the police will be very sensitive in the way they address it."

Tony Blair has been keen to avoid a showdown with the pro-hunting lobby, which has threatened a campaign of direct action in the run-up to the election.

Mr Clarke's words, however, risk provoking an angry reaction from Labour backbenchers who forced through the ban.

About 50,000 people are expected to engage in some form of hunting activity, whether legal or illegal, on the first day of the ban on Saturday – assuming legal action fails to halt the ban in the Appeal Court this week.

About 250 hunts, with potentially up to 400,000 supporters, will be meeting throughout England and Wales and setting off for legal trail hunts with a full pack of hounds chasing the scent of a dead fox.

Some are expected to use the cover of the events to break the law by chasing and killing foxes with a full pack of hounds, but the majority are unlikely to, at least on the first day of the ban, say supporters.

One senior hunt member said: "I don't think there will be civil disobedience, with people offering themselves up for arrest, on the scale some envisaged. We are going to test out the new law and show where its pitfalls are."

Hunts believe that trail hunting and hound exercise is a legitimate way of keeping their followers paying their subscriptions while they campaign for the ban to be overturned.

Hunts say the Act will allow them to carry out fox control for farmers, either by using two dogs to flush to guns or under the exemption on terrier work for gamekeepers.

The 158th Waterloo Cup, the main event of the hare coursing calendar in Britain and Ireland, starts today, a week earlier than usual, to avoid the hunting ban.

Meanwhile, landowners have been seeking to ensure that they will be immune from prosecution if they allow hunts on their land.

The Act makes it an offence for a person knowingly to permit land which belongs to him to be entered or used, or to permit a dog which belongs to him to be used, in the commission of an offence of unlawful hunting.

The Countryside Alliance and the Council of Hunting Associations have prepared a form letter for masters of hunts to enter into new agreements to continue legal activities for their hounds and followers.

The Country Land and Business Association, however, has warned its members that these letters may not be enough for landowners to escape prosecution if a hunt decides to engage in illegal forms of hunting.

The CLA is offering its members specific legal advice tailored to their circumstances.

The National Trust, which currently licenses 198 hunts across England and Wales, is revoking all its licences from Feb 18, the date the ban is due to come into effect.

While the Trust, like many private landowners, has said it will accommodate legal hunt-related activities this season, the same cannot be said of state landowners, such as the Forestry Commission.

A commission spokesman said that in both England and Wales: "Hunting permissions will terminate on Feb 18. Hunts will not be allowed to hunt live animals."

Farming unions have already expressed concern about the effect of a ban on legal hunting with two dogs and a gun if it is enforced during the lambing season in the uplands, particularly in Wales.
Another example of the complete waste of time and mobey that the anti hunting bill was! Done purely to urine off the country folk, tory voters and to appease the liberal bunny huggers!
 
#2
This just rather goes to prove that we don't have laws in Britain, only trendy legal fads... :roll:
 
#3
I sincerely hope that the police do not waste time and resources enforcing the hunting ban. Irrespective of whether or not you support hunting, the majority of people would agree that the police have more important matters to deal with?

Personally, I put the safety (and property) of my friends and family above that of a fox.
 
#4
It's not the Police that you have to watch in the countryside anyway - it's those fecking jumped-up tossers that call themselves RSPCA `Inspectors'. Give them a badge and a plod-alike uniform and they think they're the law.
 
#5
The Chief Constabule of Hampshire has allegedly said that they (Hampshire Constabulery) will follow the hunts and will bring prosecutions where the law is being broken. Pity he's not so energetic in catching the real evil ba$tards that are running around free. :evil:
 
#6
doomsayer said:
the majority of people would agree that the police have more important matters to deal with?

Personally, I put the safety (and property) of my friends and family above that of a fox.
Yep - totally agree with that. Why, only last week near the end of the M275 was a Police Safety Unit (read Mobile Tax Collector) with an accompanying fleet of 8 - yes EIGHT motor cyclists loafing nearby and up to the next roundabout.

I was so tempted to park the car somewhere and sidle up to the biggest group and ask them if their boss really thought 8 motorcyclists were needed. But they'd have only given me the old "Only doing our job" to which I'd have replied "Yep, like the guards at Auschwicz" and so on till I ended up in the cells. Then it would have been headlined as "Ex-soldier in Motoroway Fracas" Not ex-schoolboy, or ex-systems engineer, or ex-office manager you understand.

It's about time the police were moved from the Treasury back to the Home Office. Not that the above has anything to do with hunting, just makes me feel better.
 
#7
There was an interesting programme on Channel 4 the other day by none other than Germaine Greer regarding fox hunting. Surprisingly for a feminist (would add liberal but am not sure of her political persuasion) she gave an extremely well reasoned, and well informed discussion of the various ways in which the fox as a pest could be controlled.

Rather than brandishing hunting as cruel, Ms Greer came to the conclusion that in contrast to other forms of pest control i.e. shooting, poison, snaring etc, hunting was in fact no crueller; the fox either gets away or is killed relatively instantly by a ravaging pack of hounds. Unlike the former methods where the fox may take days or even weeks to be killed either from internal bleeding through poison or a bodge shot and the fox dieing a slow death from a lack of blood. It is supposedly the stress of the chase which is cruel?! Personally I quite like being chased by some chubby lasses in jodphurs on horses and thrashing me when caught - unless she looks like Camilla wotz her name! :>)

Unfortunately most politicians without the whip telling them what to do are unable to reason logically, and are quite frankly a waste of oxygen.
 
#8
Ms Greer has been a supportor of an individuals rights to do what they want for years.

She has been vehemently anti-fox for years. she writes regularly in the Sunday Torygraph ref: foxes killing her livestock on her farm. I believe she is also a supportor of animal research (but could be wrong).

she is also a fine Aussie lass who can't quite understand how the British can get so worked up about the welfare of a fox, but not that on, say, the homeless!

And as a Feminist, she should be a vocal supportor, since equestrian pursuits are one of the few where women can compete on an equal basis with men.
 
#9
Well im shocked 8O

I really thought that she was a tree hugging hippy who would jump at any chance to save an animal and stick one to 'the man'.

Do you know rumour has it that she started a campaign to stop reality shows from causing suffering to animals by preventing celebs like jordan and peter having to eat or swim in insects/spiders/snakes etc on 'I'm a celeb, get me out of here!'

But then again, if she has had the balls to stand up and fight for what she believes in (even if i dont agree with her 90% of the time), good luck to her.

A_S
 
#11
hup-two-three said:
doomsayer said:
the majority of people would agree that the police have more important matters to deal with?

Personally, I put the safety (and property) of my friends and family above that of a fox.
Yep - totally agree with that. Why, only last week near the end of the M275 was a Police Safety Unit (read Mobile Tax Collector) with an accompanying fleet of 8 - yes EIGHT motor cyclists loafing nearby and up to the next roundabout.

I was so tempted to park the car somewhere and sidle up to the biggest group and ask them if their boss really thought 8 motorcyclists were needed. But they'd have only given me the old "Only doing our job" to which I'd have replied "Yep, like the guards at Auschwicz" and so on till I ended up in the cells. Then it would have been headlined as "Ex-soldier in Motoroway Fracas" Not ex-schoolboy, or ex-systems engineer, or ex-office manager you understand.

It's about time the police were moved from the Treasury back to the Home Office. Not that the above has anything to do with hunting, just makes me feel better.
I have a great deal of respect for the majority of police officers - they do an essential job and get very little thanks for it.

However, the traffic police are disliked even by the police themselves - as donut eating, lazy tossers who can't hack the main part of the job - catching 'proper' criminals.

For the attention of anyone so minded - Please don't bother posting in reply to tell me how essential road safety is, or how dreadful RTAs can be - I agree with you. However, I would argue that rape, murder, burglary, robbery etc deserve to be given even more police resources, rather than targetting a driver doing 37mph in a 30 limit!
 
#12
Whether you support fox-hunting or not I have to say that the way that this lefty populist arguement was pushed through parliament is scandalous. The bill ate up 200 hours of parliamentary time (several times more than is usual for the readings in each house). Even more grubby was using the parliament act (1949) to railroad this issue through. Here the government has quite literally stuck 2 fingers up at the system of parliament that this country has used for centuries. They have passed an act that the house of Lords did not apporve of despite the benefit of 200 hours time. Does this not tell you something? Typical new labour. What are they going to force through without agreement by both houses next?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4024923.stm
 
#13
Almost certainly the Government doesn't want the consequent bad press that would follow prosecutions of hunts, during the period leading up to the next election.

Bad press?

No, not the Hon. Willoughby Something getting a fine and a two months' macrame course; I mean the confiscation of packs and their subsequent destruction...

Oh, yes... I believe that was one of the penalties, since the huntsman would be barred for life from keeping dogs... Or do you suppose that Charles Clarke is going to feed and exercise twenty couple of hounds for the rest of their lives? Pretty certain that the taxpayer won't.

After the election, assuming they win, it won't matter! The gloves will come off ready to appease the 'pack' of class warriors, baying on the back benches.

What will a few hundred dead dogs matter then?
 
#14
OldAdam said:
Almost certainly the Government doesn't want the consequent bad press that would follow prosecutions of hunts, during the period leading up to the next election.

No, not the Hon. Willoughby Something getting a fine and a two months' macrame course; I mean the confiscation of packs and their subsequent destruction...

Oh, yes... I believe that was one of the penalties, since the huntsman would be barred for life from keeping dogs...
Also possibility that criminal record may result in loss of right to own a shotgun, refusal of visa to visit foreign country. Those who allow hunts to operate across their land would also be drawn in. There is much done to prepare for a hunt - switching off electric fences, stopping badger setts. These preparations could be taken as signalling intention to hunt. Defiance of the law looks more and more an unlikely scenario.
 
#15
doomsayer said:
hup-two-three said:
doomsayer said:
the majority of people would agree that the police have more important matters to deal with?

Personally, I put the safety (and property) of my friends and family above that of a fox.
Yep - totally agree with that. Why, only last week near the end of the M275 was a Police Safety Unit (read Mobile Tax Collector) with an accompanying fleet of 8 - yes EIGHT motor cyclists loafing nearby and up to the next roundabout.

I was so tempted to park the car somewhere and sidle up to the biggest group and ask them if their boss really thought 8 motorcyclists were needed. But they'd have only given me the old "Only doing our job" to which I'd have replied "Yep, like the guards at Auschwicz" and so on till I ended up in the cells. Then it would have been headlined as "Ex-soldier in Motoroway Fracas" Not ex-schoolboy, or ex-systems engineer, or ex-office manager you understand.

It's about time the police were moved from the Treasury back to the Home Office. Not that the above has anything to do with hunting, just makes me feel better.
I have a great deal of respect for the majority of police officers - they do an essential job and get very little thanks for it.

However, the traffic police are disliked even by the police themselves - as donut eating, lazy tossers who can't hack the main part of the job - catching 'proper' criminals.

For the attention of anyone so minded - Please don't bother posting in reply to tell me how essential road safety is, or how dreadful RTAs can be - I agree with you. However, I would argue that rape, murder, burglary, robbery etc deserve to be given even more police resources, rather than targetting a driver doing 37mph in a 30 limit!

Right I can't believe I am doing this but (possibly as a result of a forceable shotgun marriage between me and them) I am going to stand up for Traffic (aka the rats.)

Rats have a long and honuerable tradition of being disliked it is true.

Within the service this is partly because they have ended more careers than Complaints, (mostly through knicking coppers for drink driving whilst being on "routine patrol" o/s police clubs) and their role in investigating police related accidents. Even a small scratch on a vehicle in a police station back yard can cost an officer points on his police and or civil driving licence and if you don't report said scratch the last four drivers of the vehicle ALL have their police licences endorsed.

However saying that more people are killed on the roads every day than by murderous burglars, roads policing is a constant source of good crime arrests and the specialist road traffic investigation units are probably the best investigators in the service.

When you see a road safety van you should remember that it will access all information from PNC. It will identify terrorist vehicles, vehicles that are stolen, that are beleived to be carrying firearms and the like. In addition name file checks will identify drivers wanted for questioning by police for all sorts of serious crime.

It will also identify untaxed vehicles. People who drive untaxed vehicles generally can't be bothered to MOT, properly register or insure them either. This not only means you pay more in tax and insurance but also if the vehicle has an accident the driver can dump it and get away with not only damaging your car but possibly worse still killing a member of your family.

Untaxed and registered vehicles are prefect for the criminal fraternity to use as a pool vehicle for their burglary and robbing activities. A stop for no tax may well lead to a good nose around (under S1 PACE of course) and all sorts of goodies turn up in the boot. In addition an inspection of the vehicle for roadworthyness may well show that not only is the vehicle uninsured but unsafe as well. This will give us the oppotunity to remove the vehicle from the road and hold the driver to account.

This puts into perspective why 8 officers may be neccessary, after all they will probably have more than one vehicle at a time stopped with more that one occupant. Thye don't know what they will find in the vehicle and some drivers may not stop at all ...............................

Trotsky
 
#16
Trotsky said:
<snip>
When you see a road safety van you should remember that it will access all information from PNC. It will identify terrorist vehicles, vehicles that are stolen, that are beleived to be carrying firearms and the like. In addition name file checks will identify drivers wanted for questioning by police for all sorts of serious crime.
I hope that this only applies to those vehicles believed to be carrying illegal firearms and they're not spying on FAC holders??? I'll get my tinfoil hat...
 
#17
stoatman said:
Trotsky said:
<snip>


I hope that this only applies to those vehicles believed to be carrying illegal firearms and they're not spying on FAC holders??? I'll get my tinfoil hat...
No need for tinfoil. I was discussing vehicles involved in crime not lawabiding FAC holders.

Trotsky
 
#18
OldRedCap said:
Also possibility that criminal record may result in loss of right to own a shotgun, refusal of visa to visit foreign country. Those who allow hunts to operate across their land would also be drawn in. There is much done to prepare for a hunt - switching off electric fences, stopping badger setts. These preparations could be taken as signalling intention to hunt. Defiance of the law looks more and more an unlikely scenario.
Just to clear some things up:

Allowing a hunt across your land will not be illegal, because hunting will not be illegal. What will be illegal is hunting with hounds in pursuit of a fox, but only when that fox is killed by a pack and not by a marksman.

It is for the reason above that many (believed 90%) of all hunts will meet again, as normal on Saturday. Most, if not all, will then participate in a drag hunt. Some might, go ahead and conduct an illegal hunt, but only those who are doing this will know. Many will not and of course, this is the assurbity of this law. What these people do is not wrong (which is of course the real reason behind this riduclous law - outmoded class warfare), it is the end result, whcih will be proscribed as being illegal as of Saturday.

Therefore, what is poor plod to do? Follow every single hunt to discover, yes they did only particpate in a drag hunt and no, no little innocent foxies got killed!

However, since the gov't fecked up this law from the start, the community spirit and co-operation that has always existed between the farmers adn the police is wearing a little thin.

Imagine the scene, normal hunt gathering, trail gets laid out, but the Anti's show up anyone to patrol the hunt, in lieu of the police (or in spit most likely). So the master and the hunt set off with the smellies following, with manic cries and mobile phone calls to the police everytime a hare or other little creature gets flushed out.

Plod shows up to discover... nothing. thank you Mr Bunny Hugger for wasting out time.

Sounds ridiculous, just you wait and see!
 
#19
In order to make this legislation work the only possible solution is to revist the law and ban the use dogs for any role in hunting mammals. Probably best to ban horses to.

That way the shooting of the fox after it has been flushed out can't be used as a thin cover for hunting as pest control.

In any case I would argue that if a pack of hounds kill a fox on a drag hunt they were clearly dangerously out of control and you could easily use other legislation to cover that.

Parliament has spoken I am afraid, best get used to it and either find a new hobby or devote your time to getting a party elected that will over turn the ban.

As for policing the ban, we put massive resources into football every saturday. I am sure that if their is wide spread lawbreaking we can deploy people to deal with it given the political will.


Trotsky

edited for typos
 
#20
Trotsky said:
In order to make this legislation work the only possible solution is to revist the law and ban the use dogs for any role in hunting mammals. Probably best to ban horses to.

That way the shooting of the fox after it has been flushed out can't be used as a thin cover for hunting as pest control.

In any case I would argue that if a pack of hounds kill a fox on a drag hunt they were clearly dangerously out of control and you could easily use other legislation to cover that.

Parliament has spoken I am afraid, best get used to it and either find a new hobby or devote your time to getting a party elected that will over turn the ban.

As for policing the ban, we put massive resources into football every saturday. I am sure that if their is wide spread lawbreaking we can deploy people to deal with it given the political will.


Trotsky

edited for typos


Probably best to ban horses too? ..clearly dangerously out of control..?We put..? We can..?

If there are so many loopholes that you think the law should be revised, surely that would mean a whole new Act of Parliament.

I think the Countryside Alliance would welcome this, to get the debate opened up once more.
Another 200 hours of Parliamentary time to show it up as the truly vindictive, malicious piece of class-conscious rubbish that it is!

Sledgehammers and nuts come to mind. :roll:
 

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