Glyndwr University team to carry out North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner hunting review
A review to consider how North Wales Police oversees the enforcement of the Hunting Act will be carried out by a team from Wrexham Glyndwr University.
Members of Cyfiawnder, the Social Inclusion Research Institute at Wrexham Glyndwr University have successfully bid to undertake an Independent Review of Hunting in North Wales on behalf of North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin.
The centrepiece of the research to be conducted by the team, comprising Professor Iolo Madoc-Jones; Dr Caroline Gorden and Lecturer Andy Jones.
They will look at how well the police have responded to recorded, investigated and prosecuted crimes linked with hunting.
Since the hunting ban was introduced in 2004, hunting foxes with hounds has been a prohibited activity.
Nationally, however, it is widely recognised that enforcing the Act is not always an easy matter, and concerns have been expressed about the way police respond to allegations of illegal fox hunting and manage public disorder associated with it when it is brought to their attention.
Professor Iolo Madoc-Jones said “This will be an independent review of how the Hunting Act has been policed in North Wales which will be conducted by members of Cyfiawnder who have many years’ experience of working in the criminal justice system.”
“The team are experienced in examining aspects of practice in that system and will work to the highest standards of academic integrity to ensure their conclusions and any recommendations they make are evidence based.”
Dr Caro Gorden, recently appointed co-director of Cyfiawnder, added: “The fact we have been commissioned to undertake this review following a competitive exercise is hugely significant.”
“The vision for the institute is that it will promote research within the university and become a resource for service providers in the health, social care and criminal justice arena to identify, promote and research good practice in those areas.”
Andy Dunbobbin, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, said: “I am pleased that the team at Wrexham Glyndwr University will be conducting this review into the policing of the Hunting Act in North Wales and I know they will bring a great deal of expertise and local knowledge to bear in this work.”
“The policing of the Act is an important and sensitive issue, with a wide variety of views among the different groups involved.”
“But I am certain this independent review will help clarify how the Act is being policed, will pinpoint good practice, as well as offer recommendations where needed. ”
“I would encourage any individuals or groups with an interest in how the Hunting Act is policed in North Wales to engage with this review and make their voices heard.”
Plans to hold the review were called an “unnecessary political vanity project” by the Countryside Alliance .
Mr Dunbobbin previously described the law on hunting as “far too weak” and “not fit for purpose” in a post on Twitter.
The Countryside Alliance accused the Labour PCC of having “prejudices against rural people” and called for him to spend taxpayers’ money elsewhere.
In March, Rachel Evans, director of Countryside Alliance Wales, said: “It will come as a hefty blow to taxpayers in North Wales when they learn that their Police Crime Commissioner is prepared to pump their money into what can only be described as an unnecessary political, vanity project.
“Hunts across Wales take part in a lawful activity, but sadly do routinely face spurious accusations from animal rights activists.”
The review has been welcomed by the North Wales Hunt Saboteurs group, which campaigns against hunting in the area.
A spokesperson said: “For seventeen years since hunting with dogs was outlawed, hunts have gotten away with it, with the police showing no interest in enforcing the law.
“But there are aspects already in the Hunting Act that we feel haven’t been explored by the police in seeking protections, one of which is prosecuting landowners for allowing illegal hunting on their land.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com