March 2016 – Leicestershire Police Wildlife officer outed as riding with local fox hunt
Revealed: Policewoman who is tasked with investigating illegal foxhunting is a member of a hunt – Mail Online
Anti-hunt campaigners want Pc removed from her wildlife role due to ‘conflict of interests’ – Grantham Journal
A member of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs was part of an investigation with other saboteurs which resulted in Leicestershire Police wildlife officer PC Sharon Roscoe being outed as a regular rider with the Belvior Hunt. The story made the national press.
Leicestershire Police had to have an ethics committee meeting to decide if there was a conflict of interest with a wildlife officer riding with a fox hunt. Bizarrely they decided there was no conflict of interest. However the public decided there was and Roscoe was eventually forced to step down as wildlife officer amid growing public pressure.
Leicestershire Police’s position is as follows:
“Hunting is viewed by the organisation as a lawful and legal activity. It currently does not impose any restrictions on officers who have chosen to pursue this activity outside of their working environment. There are a number of officers within the organisation who are involved in Countryside Pursuits; this is not something that they are asked to declare. “
The position of Leicestershire Police will need to change before any of the issues surrounding corruption, impartiality and conflicts of interest go away.