HSA news release 4th January 2006
A group of ten hunt monitors from the East Kent Saboteurs attended a meet of the East Kent Foxhounds at Crundale House, near Wye on the 3rd January 2006.
Despite the fact that members of the group were attacked at the same location last year (on the 5th and 19th February 2005 - with injuries ranging from broken ribs, to a head wound needing 17 stitches, both incidents captured on film, and shown on local and national TV news), it was felt that it was important to show the hunt, that this type of thuggery will never put us off, and we shall continue to monitor hunts,
Due to the possibility of a recurrence of violence, the group had informed the police that they would be there, and a group of officers attended the scene. The monitors were astounded that not only were there a group of thugs at the hunt meet, but also that some of them were wearing face masks, and carrying baseball bats in full view of the police.
In this deliberately provocative atmosphere, the monitors asked that the police officers present take some action, but were fobbed off with excuse that the "men were on private land, so could do what they liked". As there is still an ongoing CID investigation into the previous attacks at Crundale, the police were eventually persuaded (after approximately 3/4 of an hour) to go and speak to the group of men. Considering there was a strong chance, that these men may have been connected to the previous attacks, the monitors were stunned when the police then left the area, leaving the monitors in an obviously dangerous situation. The group was then forced to leave the area.
A spokesperson for the group made this comment - "For many years, we have been maligned by the press, as "terrorists", yet what we saw yesterday, was the sort of thing usually confined to football hooliganism. It astounds us, that a group of men, wearing masks, and armed with baseball bats, seemed so unimportant to the police, that they deemed it safe to leave. One could draw an interesting parallel with the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act in 1994, in which the new offence of Aggravated Trespass was created purely to curtail the efforts of hunt saboteurs to save foxes. The police then deemed it necessary to employ 8 riot vans at the same hunt meet.
"Yet on this day in 2006 in Kent the threat of serious violence obviously didn't warrant their interest, and it seems mob rule is to be allowed amongst hunt followers. This kind of behaviour is happening all around the country, and if allowed to continue, may yet see another saboteur killed".
Notes for Editors:
East Kent Hunt Gang Sought Over Unprovoked Assault
A gang who punched and kicked a hunt saboteur in the head at a meeting of the East Kent Hunt last month are being sought by police. The assault happened towards the end of the hunt at Crundale, near Ashford, on 19 February at about 1425 GMT. The anti-hunt campaigner was treated in hospital for multiple bruising and a suspected broken rib. Not surprisingly no one from the hunt has the guts to name those involved. Anyone who recognises any of the men is asked to contact Kent police on 01233 619188