The announcement by Police Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin about an independent review into how North Wales Police respond to illegal hunting seems to have ruffled some feathers. Mostly of the Countryside Alliance and the former PCC Arfon Jones.
We were asked for a statement and below is our full statement, as you can see it was highly edited in the above article.
“We welcome the announcement by the Police Crime Commissioner regarding the review on policing of the hunts in North Wales. For seventeen years ever since hunting with dogs was outlawed hunts have gotten away with it. With the police showing no interest in enforcing the law. Police have often denied illegal fox hunting in taking place, or blame the legislation for being weak. That’s something we can agree with the police on, the hunting act is poorly written putting the emphasis on us to prove with no doubt that the hunt is illegal. But there are aspects already in the hunting act that we feel haven’t been explored by the police in seeking protections. One of which is prosecuting landowners for allowing illegal hunting on their land.
We’ve been monitoring and disruption illegal hunts for eleven years, we’ve provided the police with countless examples of illegal hunting and given statements. Yet we’ve never secured a single conviction for illegal fox hunting. One example was last year where we felt an officer deliberately sabotaged a good case we had against the Flint and Denbigh hunt.
It must be said we have seen some improvements in the policing of hunting in the past 18months or so, ever since the leaked hunting office webinar and conviction of Mark Harrison after he admitted in a zoom meeting that trail hunting was a “smokescreen” for illegal hunting. What we have now is a dedicated police liasion officer who we are submitting evidence to almost on a weekly basis. But it’s always difficult for us to get anything over the line, we currently have numerous ongoing cases with the police. What we’ve also witnessed lately is the rural crime team taking a more hands on role. They’ve been out on the hunts and have followed the so called “trail layers”. That’s all well and good but that should have happened 17 years ago. Now it’s been proven in a court of law that trail laying is a smokescreen there’s no point in entertaining their smokescreen. The trail laying we witness at the Flint and Denbigh hunt is ridiculous, the hunt rarely go anywhere near where the trails have supposedly been laid and on the occasions they do the hunting hounds show absolutely no interest in whatever the substance that’s been dragged on a rag along the flood is.”
Whilst it’s hilarious to see the Countryside Alliance getting into a fluster, it also raises some serious questions…. like who really cares what an organisation that’s sole purpose is to promote animal abuse, and in the case of fox hunting an illegal activity. The Countryside Alliance are really bothered by this review, why? How do they know the report won’t come back saying North Wales Police are doing a great job and there’s no illegal fox hunting in North Wales….. they go on about it being a waste of tax payers money, why are a hunting organisation now concerned about the use of tax payers money? They didn’t seem too bothered when the police were targeting us. In fact the overwhelming majority of comments from the tax payers are in favour or this review, with 85% of the public against this barbaric pastime.
It’s also quite bizarre the former PCC Arfon Jones would now stick his twopence worth in… maybe if Arfon had addressed these issues whilst he was the commissioner we wouldn’t be at this stage now. Here’s some of the issues we’ve previously had with Arfon. https://network23.org/northwaleshuntsabs/2020/06/17/dear-mr-arfon-jones/
Arfon Jones incorrectly claimed this isn’t in the “remit” of the current PCC. This is where you are mistaken Mr Jones. It’s common practice for police to bring in an outside sources to get an independent opinion. It sounds like Arfon didn’t understand his job, let alone do it. We suggest maybe Mr Arfon Jones is concerned some of his police buddies might come in for some constructive criticism, or maybe he’s just scared that Mr Andy Dunbobbin is showing him up by actually reacting to the concern that the police raise with him. Unlike Jones who just blocked members of the public and covered up for some of his friends in blue.
Let’s hope some positives will come come from this review and moving forward we’ll see some progress and hunting will be consigned to history, and this isn’t just another false dawn.