West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs organised peaceful protests outside Leicestershire police station to display their message – Leicester Mercury
As part of our Operation Blackthorn campaign to expose the political policing and police bias against hunt saboteurs at Leicestershire Police we have held a number of “pop up” demonstrations at police stations around Leicestershire over the past month.
We chose to start at Beaumont Leys Police Station to link it to our petition asking the Chief Constable to remove a DS Matt Trott from Leicestershire Police’s hunting operation due to inappropriate comments he made on the phone to a member of our group. Trott is based at Beaumont Leys Police Station.
“You are hunt saboteurs that’s what you do, you trespass on other people’s property and harass people”
You can sign our petition here https://chn.ge/2MXYNH5
An official complaint was made about these comments and the complaint was upheld yet DS Trott was allowed to continue being part of hunting investigations. As a result we believe his personal opinions have affected these investigations. Two separate investigations of assault on members of our group by the same farmer with connections to the Atherstone Hunt were dropped despite statements and footage being handed in by the victims. Contrast this with another investigation he headed where three members of the Atherstone Hunt were allowed to make allegations about a member of our group WITHOUT HANDING ANY EVIDENCE IN. Was this case dropped due to lack of evidence? No it ended up going all the way to court (despite the lack of evidence) where the member of our group was found not guilty after the allegations were proved to be false. This isn’t an isolated case. A few years before he issued two of our members with harassment notices again despite not having any evidence from the hunt. The harassment notices were later overturned and Leicestershire Police were forced to apologise to us. This didn’t stop them issuing one to us again which we again successfully challenged and overturned. Trott was also part of a bodged investigation into blocked badger setts. Again we provided statements and footage. Leicestershire Police didn’t even bother interviewing one of the suspects and eventually the CPS dropped the case because Leicestershire Police didn’t hand the evidence in on time.
Beamount Leys is also where one of our group was taken to after they were arrested at the Quorn Hunt. On that day Leicestershire Police deliberately misused legislation designed for severe violence at football matches to stop and search a group of non-violent hunt saboteurs.
One of our saboteurs refused to be searched on the grounds that it was illegal and that Leicesterhire Police were abusing their powers. She was arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer. At Beaumont Leys Police Station she was given bail conditions which banned her from going near any fox hunt in the country and banned her from entering the entire county of Leicestershire. We managed to get these draconian bail conditions dropped based on the fact that Leicestershire Police were again abusing their powers by applying conditions that had nothing to do with the charges. This case went all the way to court where it was thrown out by the judge who agreed with us that Leicestershire Police had misused the legislation.
Afterwards we obtained emails revealing the CPS had wanted to drop the case because they too believed Leicestershire Police had misused the legislation, however the police sent an email back to the CPS saying that the case mustn’t be dropped because they believed the defendant was “defiant of the law” and had recently sued another police force so they were worried she would sue Leicestershire Police. Once the case got dropped she did indeed successfully sue Leicestershire Police.