Intimidation and violence in the countryside
A considerable number of people have sent a standard letter supplied by the Countryside Alliance to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex with regard to the issue of the behaviour of animal rights extremists in relation to hunting. I have therefore published this response on my website to alleviate the pressure on office resources.
I am aware that hunting is an emotive issue, with strength of feeling on both sides. The role of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to hold the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of an efficient and effective police service for the county. Operational policing is the responsibility of the Chief Constable, and the PCC is unable to intervene in operational matters.
I would expect any crime to receive a proportionate level of investigation and service from the police. Any illegal act should be fully investigated and wherever possible the offenders held to account for their actions.
I hold regular forums with representatives from rural communities enabling them to raise concerns and issues directly with myself and Essex Police. I have encouraged Essex Police to create a rural Special Constables team and there is also a very experienced wildlife crime officer.
Anyone aware of any criminal activity should report it to the police by dialling 101, or if preferred anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency situation 999 should always be called.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex