Warwickshire Police Replace Hunt CPN With “Gentlemen’s Agreement”

Warwickshire Hunt cause traffic chaos.

On Wednesday December 14th 2022, Warwickshire Police issued a Community Protection Notice (CPN) to the Warwickshire Hunt Limited after repeated anti-social use of public roads in Warwickshire.

The hunt immediately put in an appeal meaning the CPN was unenforceable until the appeal had been heard. This was due to have been heard on the 15th and 17th August 2023 at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

Warwickshire Hunt cause traffic chaos.
Warwickshire Hunt cause traffic chaos.

It looked likely that the hunt would lose their appeal, with the CPN conditions making it almost impossible for an illegal hunt to operate as normal, whilst also setting a precedent for other police forces around the country to do the same.

However, days before it was due in court, a senior officer from Warwickshire Police has intervened on behalf of the hunt and dropped the CPN, replacing it with a watered-down, non-legally binding ‘protocol’ which the Warwickshire Hunt are under no legal obligation to follow.

Oblivious huntsman keeps hunting on a blind bend.
Oblivious huntsman keeps hunting on a blind bend.

The CPN imposed conditions under the scope of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The conditions would have required the Warwickshire Hunt to give the police advance notice of all hunt meets, and details of the times and locations of road crossing points. There were also requirements for the hunt to notify all riders about their responsibilities around crossing roads at designated points. If the conditions had been breached, it would have led to criminal action.

Even more worrying than the CPN being dropped is the contents of the new agreement:

  • Warwickshire Police have agreed to forewarn the Warwickshire Hunt and give them a heads-up an hour before if they intend to come out and police the hunt.
  • The police have agreed to inform the hunt if any complaints have been made against them. This is very worrying from the point of view of protecting witnesses and allowing the hunt to get their story straight.
  • The hunt has demanded monthly meetings with a Chief Inspector, highlighting their arrogance and self-entitlement.
  • The police have agreed that the hunt can have an on-demand liaison officer for any given day.
  • The Police have agreed to joint training regarding road safety with the hunt. Why should a limited company that was due up in court for road traffic issues be provided with training out of public money?
  • From the hunts side, they must inform the police with a calendar of all their meets.
  • They must inform all members of the hunt of their responsibilities regarding dogs on the highway.
  • The police reserve the right to impose further CPNs in the future. Given how senior officers put an end to this CPN this now seems unlikely.
The Warwickshire Hunt tore this fox to pieces on the 15th anniversary of the Hunting Act.
The Warwickshire Hunt tore this fox to pieces on the 15th anniversary of the Hunting Act.

It is astonishing that police officers must have spent a lot of time and resources putting this case together and getting it to court only for a senior officer to undermine them to let an organised criminal gang off the hook and put in place something more favourable to them.

They have gone from imposing legally agreed conditions under the CPN to a ‘protocol’ which is nothing more than an informal gentleman’s agreement which the Warwickshire Hunt are under no legal obligation to follow. Worse, they’ll be forewarned about future police activity allowing the hunt to cover their backs.

The hunt and the police: best friends forever.
The hunt and the police: best friends forever.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please politely contact Warwickshire Police Chief Constable and ask her why she and her team are protecting repeat offenders of anti-social behaviour at the expense of the rest of the community.

You can complain and ask for answers here:

chief.constable@warwickshire.police.uk
twitter.com/CCDebraTedds
www.facebook.com/warwickshirepolice

You can make an official complaint here
www.warwickshire.police.uk/fo/feedback/complaints/complain-about-the-police

Thanks to West Midlands Hunt Sabs for this post.

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