Local MP still has questions over "secret deal" between Warwickshire Hunt and Warwickshire Police - The Leamington Observer

Local MP still has questions over "secret deal" between Warwickshire Hunt and Warwickshire Police

MP MATT Western is continuing his quest for transparency over the ‘secret protocol’ between Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire Hunt.

The MP for Warwick and Leamington is calling for the deal to be made public despite Warwickshire Police announcing last week that its arrangement with the hunt for the 2023-24 season, to address road safety concerns, had now concluded.

Mr Western said he remains “deeply concerned by the utter lack of transparency” surrounding this issue and argues that there should be no reason why the details of the protocol shouldn’t now be made public.

To that end, he has presented a petition in parliament.

In addition, he has written letters to Warwickshire’s police and crime commissioner Philip Seccombe, and the chief constable of Warwickshire Police Debbie Tedds,

In his letter to chief constable Tedds, Mr Western expressed his disbelief and demanded the protocol be made public arguing that “if there is nothing to hide, why can the protocol not be shared?”.

But he says despite sending numerous letters, he has got nowhere.

He said this is not a “case closed” however.

Mr Western continued: “Policing is vital to our communities and so is public trust in our police. The police’s job becomes significantly harder when public trust in the service is damaged. I know how hard ordinary officers at Warwickshire Police work, and they deserve huge respect for the work they do.

“But I remain deeply concerned that the lack of transparency in this case is damaging this public trust in our police force. The right thing to do remains to share the protocol and shed some light on this issue.

“I have sent numerous letters to the chief constable, the police and crime commissioner and the home secretary and they are all asking me to ‘move along – nothing to see here’. I have now had to raise the issue in parliament in the hope we will get the answers we deserve.

“It has been deeply disappointing not to see our elected police and crime commissioner – whose role it is to hold the police to account – not asking these questions. The public rightly expect him to take their concerns seriously and ask the questions they want answers to. I don’t believe we are seeing this from Mr Seccombe.”

Warwickshire Police said that now its agreement with Warwickshire Hunt has expired it would publish a public code of behaviour setting out the expectations on anyone taking part in trail hunting activities in the county, and to ensure all members of the community were kept safe.

Mr Seccombe said he believed there were lessons to be learned by the force for the future, particularly in how it has explained its actions to the public.

He added: “Should I be re-elected in May, it is my intention to commission an independent report to look at the issuing of the protocol and make recommendations to the force on how it can move forward to fully restore public confidence.”


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