top of page

FINGER A FOX HUNTER
Advice for Local Residents

fINGER A FOX HUNTER 1.JPG

Advice for local residents and/ landowners:

  • Who witness illegal hunting 

  • Who are impacted by illegal hunting in their area

  • Who are impacted by hunt havoc

  • Who are impacted by hunt trespass

If you witness illegal hunting and / or other hunt crimes such as: 

  • Hounds in full cry chasing a fox

  • Hounds covered in blood

  • Horn or voice calls encouraging the hounds to chase the fox

  • Out of control Hounds running over land / roads etc.

  • Hunt vehicles / riders/hounds blocking the road and causing an obstruction

  • Threats, abuse and intimidation

  • Hunt hounds have killed or attacked a pet, wildlife or livestock etc.

  • Quads or support vehicles in possession of a fox, which may be either alive or dead

  • Blocked badger setts

How and what to report 

 

If you witness any of the above please report it to the police – if it’s a crime in progress e.g. hounds in pursuit of a fox then its 999. To report it after the event, then it's 101.

 

In reporting hounds chasing a fox or other Hunting Act offences then state when you ring 999, that you are reporting an illegal fox hunt and hunt hounds are in pursuit of a wild mammal in Breach of S1 of The Hunting Act (2004).

If hounds are out of control then notify the police that they are out of control. Also, state any risk or harm to other road users that they are causing. If the huntsman is nowhere to be seen then they are out of control, he can’t control his hounds if he isn’t there, so state this too.

Gangs of hunt followers can be very intimidating, so report any threats or intimidation, again highlighting any potential risk of harm and particularly with blocking or obstructing roads or rights of way.

  • If it is possible and it is safe to do so then film or take photographs of any hunt crimes.

  • Make sure that you have what3words app on your phone, so you can give us and the police the what3words of the location.

  • Always ask the police for an incident reference number and send this to us so we can follow it up.

You can download what3words app here. It's free

Blocked Badger Setts 

Hunts will commonly block badger setts, so the hunted fox cannot escape and hide in the Sett. If you are aware of a Sett on your land, or in your area and the hunt have been on this land, then report this to us and the Northumberland Badger Group. We will check if the sett has been interfered with.  Badger sett interference is a crime so if you find a blocked badger sett or suspect one has been tampered with then report it to the police, to us and the Northumberland Badger Group. Sett stoppers are often out during the night, so if you see or hear any suspicious activity, such as the sight or sound of quads, in the area at night and especially the night before a hunt then please report it to us.  

How to Report Hunt Crimes

Telephone Northumbria Police on 999 for a crime in progress 

Telephone Northumbria Police on 101 for a crime after the event 

Complete a 101 online reporting form here 

We are aware that many people who live in hunt areas often feel too frightened to contact the police and report it.  If this is the case then you can email your report it and send any footage / pictures etc. to us here and we will forward it on. You can also use an anonymous email address for this too if you wish

Report anonymously to crimestoppers here

Report it to League Against Cruel Sports here 

Always report it to us too,  let us know when you have reported hunt crimes and give us the reference number if you have one. 

Why report fox hunting

It is important to report all hunt crimes, whether it be illegal hunting, violence or public order etc. This is the only way to stop it. If people do not report it, then the police will not know it is happening, they will not know the size and scale of the problem and they will believe the Trail Hunt Myth.

 

Not reporting it only benefits the hunts. Illegal hunting is an invisible crime. There is often a culture of fear or silence, in hunt communities; this is how the hunts thrive. The criminal justice system has failed foxes for 18 years, allowing hunting to continue illegal hunting with impunity.  Fox hunting and other wildlife crime is a non-notifiable offence, which means there is no obligation for the police to notify the government of these crimes- so there are no statistics. If there are no statistics then no resources are directed towards enforcing it, such as training or manpower. Likewise, The Hunting Act  is equivalent to dropping litter and does not have power of arrest, so it does not offer sufficient legal protection for wildlife. This needs to change.

 

The more people report it, and supply any evidence the more the police will realise the true size and scale of hunt crimes, and then pressure for change; for a change in the law, more resources and more power.  

 

Reporting hunt crimes is the only way to ensure that fox hunting is stopped once and for all. It won’t happen overnight, but if it is not reported then it won’t happen at all. We all need to stand our ground and finger a fox hunter; this is the only way that we can make the countryside a safer place for wildlife.

PUBLIC SPACE PROTECTION ORDER

Advice on a Public Space Protection Order to control hunt hounds and minimise the risk of Hunt Havoc

Northumberland has a Public Space Protection Order (control of dogs) in place. This comes under the remit of the Anti-Social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014), part 4. 

This covers hunt hounds, as such it is an offence not to comply with this order, and keep dogs / hounds under proper control, or to engage in any anti-social behaviour that impacts on the enjoyment of residents’ homes.

For Instances of, hunt havoc and out of control hounds then an protection order can be taken out against the hunt which may involve making them disclose events and routes as well as have specific controls in place to minimise inconvenience to residents, and ensure that hound are under control

Should any residents experience hunt anti-social behaviour, then report this to the council in the first instance. If this is accompanied by further road traffic offences, or crimes then reports should also be made to the police.

Further information can be read here

It may be useful for evidential purposes to keep and record each incident:

Date and Time

The Location of the incident

The name of The Hunt if known

A description of what happened

A description of any interaction with hunt staff or support

A description of how this made you feel

A description of how this has impacted on, you, your enjoyment of your home / peace and quiet etc.

A protection notice has recently been put in place against the Warwickshire Hunt, by Warwickshire Rural Crime Team. Read here

The more incidents and complaints the better, so it is a case of power in numbers. We have been liaising with the police regarding this for a while now, and as such we have put in place a hunt havoc volunteer. It is their role to collate all evidence of hunt havoc, for each area that has been reported to us and forward that to the police and the council.

Please email us at HuntHavoc.NHW@gmail.com

ADVICE ON HUNT TRESSPASS 

Hunt trespass can be very distressing for local residents and landowners but you do not need to suffer in silence or feel intimidated into keeping quiet. There are organisations who can help and advise. The following advice has been sourced from Hounds Off who can be contacted here 

 

 

Hounds off advise taking the following steps:

 

Step 1: Send an email or letter to the hunt warning them to keep off your land. Make sure it’s signed and dated:

 

Dear (Hunt Name)

 

I am writing to inform you that my property is closed at all times to the horses, hounds, officials, followers and any other individual connected with your Hunt.

 

(Insert address including postcode and also attach any maps showing boundaries if available)

 

I therefore request that no unauthorised entry occurs on my property by any of the above. Further, I ask you to inform me in advance when your Hunt is likely to be present in my locality.

 

 

Signed

Date

 

 

Step 2: Copy your Warning off Email to your local MP and Police

 

If your request has been ignored then do the following:

 

Report any trespass immediately to the police. Provide date, time location plus any further details that you have including witnesses or other neighbours affected.

Keep to the facts.

 

Highlight the harassment, alarm, fear and distress that the hunt trespass causes you

Always make sure that you receive a police incident number and refer to it in future incidents. This will ensure that all information can be collated which may show a pattern of trespass, amounting to harassment

 

Do not give up and do not be fobbed off. 

 

Complete a “Hounds off” Incident Schedule form below

 

HOUNDS OFF INCIDENT SCHEDULE

 

• The purpose of this schedule is to record hunt related activities, their frequency, proximity to or position on land and how the activity affects or interferes with lawful activities of landowners or those with a lawful right to occupy.

 

• The event or incident should be recorded in the schedule as soon as reasonably practicable and wherever possible should be photographed or otherwise recorded i.e. on a mobile phone if to hand.

 

• The author is encouraged to record evidence as a “matter of fact” from first hand/personal observations only.

 

 

OBSERVED BY (NAME & CONTACT DETAILS):

 

 

DATE & TIME:

 

 

WHICH HUNT? (IDENTIFY ANY PERSON BY DESCRIPTION OR NAME IF KNOWN):

 

 

APPROXIMATE SIZE OF HUNT i.e. HOW MANY HORSES? HOW MANY HOUNDS? HOW MANY FOLLOWERS?

 

 

HAS ANY PART OF THE HUNT, HOUNDS OR FOLLOWERS ENTERED ANY LAND LAWFULLY OCCUPIED BY YOU?

 

IF YES, PLEASE CLARIFY WHO, WHERE AND FOR HOW LONG?

 

 

 IS THE TRESPASS DELIBERATE OR INADVERTENT?

 

 

 HAS ANY DAMAGE BEEN CAUSED i.e. TO FENCES, GRASS OR CROP? PLEASE CLARIFY:

 

 

HAS ANY DISTRESS OR INJURY BEEN CAUSED TO ANY OF YOUR ANIMALS OR LIVESTOCK?

PLEASE CLARIFY:

 

 

IF NO PART OF THE HUNT, HOUNDS OR FOLLOWERS HAVE ENTERED LAND LAWFULLY OCCUPIED BY YOU, PLEASE CLARIFY WITHIN HOW MANY METERS THE HUNT, HOUNDS OR FOLLOWERS PASSED CLOSE TO YOUR BOUNDARY?

 

 HAS ANY DISTRESS, INJURY OR DAMAGE BEEN CAUSED TO ANY OF YOUR PROPERTY, LIVESTOCK OR PETS IN CONSEQUENCE? PLEASE CLARIFY:

 

HAVE THE POLICE BEEN INFORMED? Yes/No

 

IF YES, NAME AND/OR COLLAR NUMBER OF POLICE CALL HANDLER:

 

IF YES, INCIDENT OR LOG NUMBER:

 

ANY OTHER NOTES OR OBSERVATIONS?

 

 

I believe that the contents of this schedule are true to the best of my knowledge and belief

 

Signed………………………………………………………..

Print Name………………………………………………..

Date ………………………………………………………….

 

If you require the support and advice from Hounds off then you can return a copy of this Incident Schedule to them at the following address.  Hounds Off, PO Box 162, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 7AZ or via email attachment to help@houndsoff.co.uk and keep the original for your records.  It is advisable to forward a copy to us too  community@northumberlandhuntwatch.co.uk

 

Contact the following people

 

Contact your MP

 

Make a face to face appointment with your MP. Do not mention what it’s about till you get there. If they push then just say trespass.  Stress the harassment and distress the causes you rather than the illegal hunting especially if your MP is pro-hunt.  Request your MP to contact the police on your behalf to ensure that they deal with the alarm and distress it causes you. Give your MP a copy of any evidence and incident numbers.

 

Contact your Parish Councillor

 

Ask your parish council to also contact the hunt and request that they refrain from trespassing on parishioner’s land. Again, avoid the anti-hunt argument, and focus on the distress, alarm and harassment angle. Ensure that this is also placed upon a parish council meeting agenda for through discussion.

 

Contact your District Councillor

 

Make an appointment to meet with them in person. Inform them of the steps that you have already taken and people you have spoken to. Make sure they take this up with the police on your behalf.

 

Contact your County Councillor

 

Make sure they also take this up with the police on your behalf.

 

Remember your councilors and MP has a moral obligation to support you as a voter, regardless of their hunting stance. Keep all records and notes of who you have spoken to and what has been said / agreed.

It may also be very useful, for raising awareness, to report it to your local press.

(Source: Hounds Off)

 

Please note: The hunt may send a friendly hunt master around with a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates for a nice little chat to sort out the “nonsense” between you, and make all sorts of promises . Do not waver. They only have their own best interests at heart not yours. 

Always contact us and let us know too, as we can also provide help and support such as practical help by monitoring them when they are in your area or notifying you if they are heading near you or out in your area. 

Additional measures you can take as a community

Set a local resident’s hunt watch group

 

If you are affected by hunt trespass, then it’s highly likely that others are affected too. The pro-hunt community will usually imply that fox hunting is the ways of the country people. It isn’t, the vast majority of country people oppose fox hunting too, and find the hunt a menace. Often residents fear that they are alone in this. The hunts thrive on this culture of silence and secrecy.

 

Reach out and speak to other local residents. Many communities have social media pages and groups so reach out to others. Speak to them face to face and / or deliver leaflets in your local area. Immediately, after the hunt has been causing havoc in a particular area may be useful.

 

Arrange a meeting in a local community center, or an online meeting via google meet or teams etc. and invite other local residents. Do not be disheartened if your first meeting does not go as you would have liked. Keep going as it may take time for residents to pluck up the courage to attend and get involved.

 

Form a coalition, a local residents hunt watch / monitor group. You can run this through a whatsapp, or messenger group and/or a Facebook group / page. A Whatsapp is a particularly useful way of notifying one another when the hunt has been spotted on or approaching the local area. Teams of available residents can then monitor the hunt to ensure that they are adhering to any requests to keep away, and / or complying with anti-hunt legislation. It may be worth doing a spot of fundraising and investing in a couple of decent camcorders – you can get a suitable Panasonic for £200

 

Arrange a meeting with your local wildlife crime officer, neighbourhood policing team, keep in regular contact and send then any evidence of law breaking such as illegal hunting, anti-social behaviour, trespass, out of control hounds etc.

 

Download, print and laminate hounds off no hunting signs for the local area. This means that if they are seen on this land they can’t say they have permission to be there. The hunts lie profusely and they will say they have permission even if they don’t

You can download signs from hounds Off here

Please contact us and let us know if you are setting up a local community monitor group, as we will provide free training and advice as well as regular ongoing support

Contact us for more information and advice 

Northumberlandhuntwatch@gmail.com

Facebook

Tel: 07375896463

bottom of page