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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Policing Foxhunting

Date of request: January 7, 2021
Reference: 025/21

Request

My questions relate to your organisational structure concerning the policing of the Hunting Act, in particular illegal foxhunting.

  • While I understand that any officer can answer a 999 or 101 call relating to illegal hunting, which section or department has the responsibility for investigating any breaches of the Hunting Act?
  • Does this section or department have any other responsibilities, and if so, what are they?
  • How many staff work in this section or department and what rank are they?
  • Does the force have any Wildlife Crime Officers and if so, how many active Wildlife Crime officers are there and where are they based?
  • Does the force have an “Aide Memoire” or any other document for officers to use when involved in a call for illegal foxhunting? If so, may we see a copy of it?
  • How many police officers are there in total in the force?

Response

Our Local Neighbourhood Officers have the responsibility for investigating these offences with specialist advice from the Rural Affairs Team.

Local Neighbourhood Officers also undertake general policing duties, which include but are not limited to;

  • Engaging with communities to identify and understand the local issues affecting people’s safety, feelings of safety and quality of life.
  • Set local priorities and agree on what needs to be done to tackle the issues with communities and partners.
  • Work together and take action with our partners and communities to solve these local problems.
  • Provide feedback to communities on what is being done and what has been achieved to improve public confidence that we are dealing with issues that matter locally.

Our neighbourhood team is made up of the following officers:

Rank Count
Chief Superintendent 1
Superintendent 2
Chief Inspector 9
Inspector 14
Sergeant 47
Constable 248
Total 321

Avon and Somerset Constabulary have seven trained wildlife officers in the force. These have been broken down below.

Force wide Rural Affairs Unit 1
Operational Support 1
Regional Somerset West 2 (1x Sergeant)
South Glos 1
Bristol 2

With regards to question five, please find attached our Hunting Procedural Guidance.

There are currently 2,963 Officers and 340 PCSOs serving in the force.

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