HSA News Release 15th November 2009
On Saturday 14th November, members of Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs were monitoring the opening meet of the Rockwood Harriers Hunt, just South of Emley, Huddersfield.
Most of the group were following the hunt to ensure they weren’t illegally hunting. The driver and a passenger were in the group's van which was parked by the side of the road. Suddenly four 4x4 vehicles drove at speed toward the van. They parked in such a way that the van couldn’t move and two men wearing masks and carrying hammers ran toward the van. They smashed the windscreen and both rear windows and slashed one of the tyres before returning to their vehicles and racing away. Other members of the group, in another vehicle, soon arrived at the scene to find the two occupants of the vehicles shaken up and upset by what had happened. They were just about to call the police when they arrived on the scene. The police had been called by the hunt complaining that anti-hunt protestors were in the area.
The sabs were amazed by what happened next. Instead of dealing with the obvious case of criminal damage by the hunt, evidenced by the smashed up van right in front of them, the police proceeded to harass and illegally detain the group for the next 3 hours, searching people and vehicles and only finally allowing them to leave when the hunt had packed up for the day. At no point did they enquire as to the welfare of the two people who had been in the van during the attack and they were completely disinterested in the attack itself. They even refused to act when the perpetrators of the attack drove past laughing. During the afternoon there were over twelve police officers and four vehicles present.
Members of Yorkshire Hunt Saboteurs have contacted solicitors to see what further action they can take against the police and the hunt, and have initiated complaints against West Yorkshire Police.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association stated: “Hunt saboteurs are sadly aware of how biased the police are where hunting is concerned, almost always taking the side of illegal hunters. Sometimes however their behaviour is so poor and unprofessional that it surprises even us. West Yorkshire police should be ashamed of how they have behaved and we feel sure the people of the area would be disgusted if they knew that their taxes were being spent on protecting violent, pro-hunt criminals.”
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