by Countryside Alliance

A Freedom of Information request has shown that the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire spent £34,000 of the tax payers money on an independent review into fox hunting in Cheshire last year. The 57 page report was commissioned even though just 19 of the 80,000 crimes recorded in 2017 were related to any sort of hunting. 
Despite the cost of the report David Keane, the Police and Crime Commissioner, has decided to ignore its conclusions. Obviously unhappy that the reports 11 recommendations did not support his prejudices Mr Keane put forward his own proposals at a public scrutiny meeting on hunting in February. Mr Keane wants the police to spend even more resources and scrutinise hunts’ plans on every day they operate including evidence of all trails that have been laid. The Countryside Alliance contributed to the review and supported its findings but believes these new proposals will be hugely expensive and are totally unwarranted. 
Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner, commented: “We now know that the review into the policing of hunting commissioned by the Cheshire PCC David Keane cost £34,000, but this is just one part of the cost of his obsession. His own office, and Cheshire Constabulary, must also have spent thousands of pounds contributing to the review and arranging subsequent meetings. Indeed the PCC seems to spend much of his time meeting anti-hunting groups.
“Worse than that the PCC has ignored the recommendations of his expensive review and proposed a series of other restrictive proposals which conform with his prejudices. He seems to be incapable of accepting that Cheshire hunts are operating perfectly legally as they have been since the Hunting Act came into force.
“Cheshire residents must be furious that their Police and Crime Commissioner is wasting vast sums of taxpayers money on political campaigns whilst crime in Cheshire rose by 32% last year.”


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