I am often contacted by constituents regarding the policing of the badger cull. It is a hugely emotive issue, we all know that.
As someone passionate about animals, I am well versed on the arguments for and against. As someone who speaks out against some animal related issues, I haven’t entered this arena, as I felt it could undermine the Force if I did so.
The first thing to remember when discussing this arena is that your PCC and your local police have little or no say in it. The cull is mandated by law, and is organised and licensed by DEFRA and the Government nationally. Indeed, the funding for the policing of the cull comes from them as well, retrospectively.
Then we must also remember that I am not responsible for operational policing, the Chief Constable is.
In the context of the two issues above, my personal views are largely irrelevant; I have to remain totally impartial. My main job was to provide the money and resources to allow the Force to police the cull impartially and without fear or favour.
My other job was to monitor the policing of the cull, and to challenge the police if residents and/or protesters felt the police were acting unfairly, or in a heavy handed or biased way.
And to be fair to Dorset Police, all I got in my inbox was praise for the way they policed the issue. Whilst other areas faced pointed criticism of the police, that didn’t happen in Dorset, either in the media or in my inbox. The Chief Constable and I discussed the fact that with the benefit of an earlier year’s hindsight in other areas, the Force were uniquely placed to take the “best out of other areas” and “learn from other areas mistakes”.
And the feedback I received is that they did that, and did it well…….
A side line of the cull, was positive feedback from the rural community at seeing so many police in their area, an irony that isn’t lost on me.
If you have written to me in a group campaign about this issue, you probably feel the cull is wrong, or you feel the cull should be extended.
However, if you have written to me to comment about the actions of Dorset Police in policing the cull, then please do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading this,