Today’s protest at Wiltshire Police headquarters in Devizes over the appointment of PC Cheryl Knight into the rural crime unit despite being photographed riding with fox hunting associations, including the notorious Avon Vale Hunt, went peacefully.….
Devizes Police commended and thanked the protesters, “for the way that they conducted themselves.” Patronising is in the training manual.
The event passed peacefully, and no arrests were made. Online speculation there would be “trouble,” was unfounded; anti-hunting campaigners are passive by default. There are no grounds for claims made by PCC Philip Wilkinson, ousted by ITV for claiming to have “covertly” monitored sabs committing public order offences.
Organisers of the protest, Wiltshire Hunt Saboteurs, say “for over eighteenth years hunts have been prolific in breaking the law, and doing so with both the implicit and explicit consent, support and even membership, of those with the power to do something about it. Wiltshire Police deployed over 50 officers and multiple resources to turn their cameras on sabs, as terriermen await dig out instructions from the Avon Vale Hunt behind them.”
Superintendent Conway Duncan said: “We know people want to make their voices heard and the right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate.”
“We had a presence at the event to do just that, but also as part of our responsibility to ensure the local community were not adversely impacted.”
We hope they will listen and assign officers accordingly rather than with clear conflicts of interests. Please sign the petition HERE.
Wiltshire Hunt Saboteurs replied in a Tweet, “how dare they even consider themselves worthy of praising the protestors. Wiltshire police are by definition of their own criminality, beneath contempt. We do not praise the way they are conducting themselves over this sordid affair, nor the 18 years of them turning a blind eye.” Ah, but it’s do as we say, isn’t it? Not as we do!