Posted: Friday 13th February 2015
A number of people have sent in the standard letter supplied by the Countryside Alliance in regard to this matter so I have therefore published this one response, via my website, which will alleviate pressure on our already stretched resources.
I am very well aware that hunting, legally or illegally, is a highly emotive issue and the volume of correspondence on this illustrates the strength of feeling on both sides of the argument.
My view is quite clear: any illegal act be this harassment, assault or indeed participation in an illegal hunt should be investigated and wherever possible the offender(s) held to account for their actions. I would expect any crime to receive a proportionate level of investigation and service.
As you will no doubt be aware, I cannot stray into the Chief Constable’s operational area of responsibility but I can assure you that I will bring these letters to his attention. I will suggest that he may like to publish the police position on this site to save you having to send a similar template letter to him.
However, I note that you do not identify where these events took place, or even whether they were in Derbyshire. If you are aware of any criminal activity I must ask that you report it to the police (simply dial 101) or if you prefer, anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency situation you should always call 999.
Derbyshire Constabulary has an enviable record in securing convictions regarding wildlife and rural crimes and has a number of officers and staff with special responsibility for tackling rural and wildlife criminality. On my part I have made it very clear that tackling wildlife crime and protecting rural communities is a key focus and you can see that this is reflected in my Police and Crime Plan. I’m sure that you agree that Derbyshire is a beautiful and peaceful county, hopefully, by working together with the public it will stay that way.
Thank you for contacting me.
Alan F Charles
Police and Crime Commissioner