The Conservative Party have outlined plans in their manifesto to make trespass a criminal offence and some have taken this to mean an inevitable stop to hunt saboteurs disrupting meets. By introducing greater penalties for those crossing private land as well as making it "almost impossible" for hunts to be sabotaged, this news has not been received well by hunt protestors.
Plans to make trespass a criminal offence stem from the party's wider pledge of getting tougher on crime. It has been introduced alongside the pledge to give police more powers to enable them to "tackle unauthorised travellor camps".
Unsurprisingly, saboteurs have vowed to oppose this new pledge.
Being confronted by a hunt saboteur can be a frightening experience, as seen in various pieces of footage posted by those who have fallen victim to, or witnessed, their intimidating behaviour. With tensions between hunt members and saboteurs only escalating further, the Conservative Party's plans to change trespass from a civil offence to a criminal one will be a big step in curtailing the activities of hunt saboteurs.
Under current legislation, the police are restricted in terms of the level of intervention that they have, leaving many feeling unprotected from saboteurs. Taking into account the recent announcement that under a Conservative government, there would be no change to the Hunting Act, this is welcome news for those who enjoy attending and getting involved in their local meets.
Ed Rowlandson of the Countryside Alliance said: "Most people would find it incredibly odd that a policy which aims to crack down on illegal trespass, could be viewed as a negative development. Making intentional trespass a criminal offence is something law abiding members of society will agree with."
You can read the full article from The Telegraph, here.