Who Guards the Guards? Or as Juvenal the Roman poet, put it some 2000 years ago when writing in his Satires ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes’? The phrase reflects the need for active management over the behaviour of those we have entrusted with enforcing behavioural norms on others and has probably been around long before Juvenal’s satirical works, he was just brave enough to put it in writing. A more up to the minute interpretation of the same concern might be “ What on Earth were Cumbria Police thinking” when they started to design their rural crime strategy, and for reason unkown, came up with a poster which not only depicts a legitimate scene but then requests public assistance in first imagining and then reporting similar non criminal activity. Worse still, after realising that the ill thought out poster did not reflect any of the strategic aims given to the Cumbria Police leadership team by their Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Cumbria Police seemed to perform a rather acrobatic body swerve some 90 minutes later after we published our Open Letter (which can be seen in our News section) a copy of which was emailed to the force.
So the question is, if it’s not policy and not a strategic or urgent threat then who conceived and managed the work package that resulted in the production and dissemination of the poster? These images are not produced on a whim or without considerable management oversight. And, if it is now a priority for Cumbria Police officers, what activities and investigations have been compromised as a result of this new and apparently unplanned demand on their time?
Perhaps the unfortunate outcome above is a result of the antis favourite weapons in relation to hunting with hounds, namely, big lies and bigger ones. For example we get a considerable number of attacks on Bailys every day some of which come with correspondence from people who take great pains to describe themselves as ordinary law abiding members of the public and then launch into their favourite subject – showing they must be keen, as it is well researched though ludicrously one-sided.
Here is an example “I wish to complain to this Hunt (us?) for the atrocious breach of trail hunting guidelines. Around 8th September your pack of hounds arrived at my neighbours and caused mayhem and distress to myself, guests, and neighbours, two of my neighbours were badly bitten by the hounds.
These hounds were not under any control and running everywhere, and had obviously picked up the fox scent that they are trained to follow, not a marked scent trail. This kind of incident should not happen.
Your hunt should not be allowed to take packs of hounds into the countryside as they obviously do not maintain control over them.
I believe that the Law at present is far from satisfactory as this type of incident happens across the U.K. This law needs strengthening.”
Given the allegations you would think that every tabloid media reporter would have been beating down various doors to report the story, and there would be Police and Hospital reports…er no… Because the opposition now feel they do not have to bother with facts …the mere allegation of wrong doing is enough to generate more negative perception for anything they do not like and keep the coffers open for the inevitable plea for funds.
Occasionally of course even this tried and tested strategy goes awry, as was seen in a recent court case, in which even though it took about 5 years, justice was finally to be seen to be done. The case highlighted that some within the ‘anti xxxx’ movement (filling the missing words with any legitimate countryside-based activity of your choice) hold the judicial system in contempt, frequently lying to both the Police and Courts, and they appear to see nothing wrong in supplying evidence that they know has been tampered with as long as they get the outcome they want.
Fortunately, in the case above, and despite the time lag, the individual concerned has at long last been found guilty and that might go some way to start to repair the damage done to the reputations of the two farming brothers he alleged attacked him.
Or maybe not – after all, that individual’s supporters are soon likely to start the inevitable cycle of “there’s no smoke without fire” or “poor xxx only wanted to find a way to prove what we all know happens” and without a more proactive and constant rebuttal of such outrageous falsehoods hunting will continue to be on the back foot in the PR stakes.