Leicestershire Police wildlife officer PC 207 Rob Cross retweeted an article about repealing the Hunting Act. The original tweet was sent in 2012 by a friend of PC Cross who rides with the Fernie Hunt and also the Quorn Hunt. It was then retweeted by PC Cross on 23rd August 2012.
This is not the first time that a wildlife officer at Leicestershire Police has been outed as supporting fox hunting. In 2016 wildlife officer PC Sharon Roscoe was outed as riding with her local fox hunt the Belvoir Hunt. She stepped down from the position of wildlife officer amid growing public pressure over the conflict of interest. PC Roscoe was replaced as wildlife officer by PC Cross
Other tweets by PC Cross include retweets of the 2012 Game Fair which was due to be held at Belvoir Castle that year which is home to the Belvoir Hunt.
We have previously revealed that PC Cross was friends on social media with a farmer with close connections to the Atherstone Hunt. PC Cross was involved in at least one investigation into this farmer. No further action was taken against him. https://www.facebook.com/WestMidsHuntSabs/posts/1462615663883503
We also revealed that PC Cross’s wife Louise Cross was close friends with a regular Atherstone Hunt rider who was also investigated by Leicestershire Police for assault. This investigation was also dropped suddenly with no explanation. https://www.facebook.com/WestMidsHuntSabs/photos/a.292446557567092/1467317533413316/?type=3&theater
At least three of PC Crosses friends ride with the Fernie Hunt.
Last year we published an audio recording taken at an Atherstone Hunt pre-season meeting in which PC Cross was present and can be heard advising hunt supporters which laws can and can not be used against hunt saboteurs. https://www.facebook.com/WestMidsHuntSabs/videos/1206387039506368/
A spokesperson for West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs said “It’s astonishing that Leicestershire Police have now appointed not one but two wildlife officers who both support fox hunting. When most people think of a wildlife officer they will assume that the officer cares about wildlife. They certainly don’t expect the officer to support the chasing and killing of wildlife by a pack of hounds. In PC Cross’s case it seems he also supports the shooting of wildlife. The Game Fair is a fair celebrating the shooting industry. Game birds are reared on an industrial scale in horrendous conditions only to be shot out of the sky once they are fully grown whilst native wildlife is trapped and shot by gamekeepers. There seems to be a massive conflict of interest here. What’s alarming is that PC Cross has been actively involved in several investigations into the Atherstone Hunt both illegal hunting and assault allegations.
He has not declared any of his links to fox hunting. Has his connections to fox hunting affected the outcome of any of the cases he has been involved with? Certainly PC Cross’s conduct has breached the Police Code of Ethics http://www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/Ethics/Documents/Code_of_Ethics.pdf
“associations with groups or individuals, must
not create an actual or apparent conflict of
interest with police work and responsibilities”
We will be lodging a formal complaint about PC Cross’s conduct to Leicestershire Police’s professional standards as we view this as a possible misconduct issue.
We also think that any previous and ongoing hunting related cases PC Cross has been involved in should be re-looked at to see what impact he may of had on them