Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has today (Wednesday 5 December 2018) made public the findings of an independent review into fox hunting across Cheshire.
David Keane commissioned the review following concerns raised by Cheshire residents and public representatives in relation to the effectiveness of Cheshire Constabulary’s policing of hunting.
The review spoke to representatives from both the pro and anti-hunt community, as well as local businesses.
David said: “It has been pleasing to read that all groups spoken to commented on an improving relationship with the police - something that I will be looking for the constabulary to continuously develop.
“Whilst Cheshire Constabulary is seen to be effective in how it deals with some elements of hunting issues, it is also important to recognise that Cheshire has not had any successful prosecutions regarding the Hunting Act; which appears, given the review’s findings, to be at odds with the national picture.
“In addition, it is without doubt that there remains a perception by some members of the public that the constabulary is not effectively addressing the issue of potential illegal hunting.
“The review outlines 11 clear recommendations for the constabulary to consider and as police and crime commissioner I will be looking to our police service to implement these to improve the service they provide to local residents.
“The review is frank that the current legislation in the way it is drafted presents challenges to investigators and prosecutors. As such, I will be speaking with Cheshire MPs to explore how such legislative change can be progressed through parliament.”
The report has been published on the Cheshire PCC website. The commissioner has confirmed that a meeting with the constabulary will be held in public in the new year.
This will enable the recommendations to be discussed in public and provide the constabulary with an opportunity to respond to the commissioner about what action they are taking.
A full copy of the report can be found here.
The value of the contract awarded for completing the independent review of fox hunting across Cheshire was £34,000.