Leicestershire Police took no further action against Ashley Davies, the son in law of the Atherstone Hunt chairman and friend of Leicestershire Police wildlife officer PC Rob Cross. Davies was filmed violently attacking and assaulting saboteurs who were filming the Atherstone Hunt. His attack concluded with him driving his quad bike into one of the saboteurs who ended up in a ditch as a result. The outcome could have been far more serious if the quad bike had landed on top of him. Leicestershire Police are claiming they didn’t have enough evidence, this is not true, the victim made a victim statement and handed footage in. In most circumstances this would have been more than enough. To add insult to injury Leicestershire Police are now victim blaming, saying it was the victim’s fault it got dropped as not enough statements were made.
This case highlights perfectly the vast gulf of difference in the way Leicestershire Police treat anti-hunt and pro-hunt cases. Anti-hunt cases are set impossibly high standards of evidence where it is never quite good enough whilst pro-hunt cases have absolutely no evidence threshold at all. Members of the Atherstone Hunt for example are allowed to make false allegations against saboteurs, provide NO evidence whatsoever and yet Leicestershire Police are fine with this (and continue to be) and even hand out harassment notices to saboteurs based on this none evidence. (All harassment notices have been successfully challenged and overturned)
We hold Leicestershire Police partly responsible for this incident as they took no further action against Davies for a previous incident where Davies ran at saboteurs with a metal bar.
These are not isolated cases, a few years ago members of the Atherstone Hunt attacked and stole cameras from saboteurs, the case was dropped however Leicestershire Police actually wanted to arrest the victims!
Leicestershire Police can’t even claim these decisions are being made by different people in different departments, some of these decisions (with the vast difference in required evidence) have been made by the same officer. DS Matt Trott took the decision to take no further action in the first Davies case and was the Senior Investigating Officer in the second case. In both of these cases he claims the evidence was not good enough yet Trott was also responsible for issuing the harassment notices to saboteurs based on no physical evidence from the Atherstone Hunt. In total three harassment notices (or Police Information Notices) have been issued to sabs and then later overturned.
A complaint was previously made about Trott and upheld after a phone conversation with a sab where he said “Your hunt saboteurs that’s what you do, you trespass on other peoples property and harass people”. It’s not hard to guess what Trotts opinions are about hunt saboteurs yet despite the complaint being upheld he remains part of Leicestershire Police’s hunting unit (Operation Blackthorn) making decisions about hunting issues.