Phil Davies, a retired police Chief Inspector with Dyfed Powys Police who has been working for the last ten years as a Police Liaison Officer for the Countryside Alliance, has been booted off the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG).
In fact, he’s been removed from all of the wildlife crime priority delivery groups, according to Chief Inspector Kevin Kelly, Head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). He told me that Davies was removed on Thursday (21 October) after a brief conversation and that all those within the Priority Delivery Groups have been notified of the decision.
Davies’ removal is due to his participation in the now infamous hunting webinars, secretly recorded last year showing some of the UK’s leading hunting personnel discussing how to avoid prosecution for illegal fox hunting by creating ‘smoke screens’ and ‘elements of doubt’. The webinars were leaked to the public by the Hunt Saboteurs Association which led to a police investigation into the six webinar speakers, including Davies (see here). Only one speaker, Mark Hankinson, was prosecuted (and subsequently convicted earlier this month) but the judge’s damning commentary of Phil Davies’ contribution, and the investigating police officers’ reported frustration that Davies had avoided prosecution, had led to calls for him to be removed from the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (see here and here).
[Screengrab of some of the hunting webinar speakers, including Phil Davies who works as the Police Liaison Officer for the Countryside Alliance. Screengrab from material published by the Hunt Saboteurs Association]
The various Priority Delivery Groups have been established for the seven National Wildlife Crime Priorities (e.g. raptor persecution, badger persecution, bat persecution, CITES, freshwater pearl mussels, cyber-enabled wildlife crime and poaching) and the purpose of these delivery groups is ‘to progress the priority in relation to prevention, intelligence and enforcement’ (see here). That’s police-speak for getting on and finding ways of tackling wildlife crime and bringing the criminals to justice.
Of all these groups, the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG) is the least effective. In fact it’s achieved absolutely nothing of any use towards the protection and conservation of birds of prey in the UK in its 11-year existence, and that’s because the group includes organisations from the game-shooting industry, some of whose members have been/are still under police investigation for alleged raptor persecution. There are clear conflicts of interest, but those organisations have sat comfortably, with the support of DEFRA, happily disrupting and frustrating the efforts of the other organisations trying their best to make a difference (e.g. RSPB, Northern England Raptor Forum).
So Davies’ removal from the RPPDG, and in fact from all the PDGs, is a significant move and Chief Inspector Kevin Kelly deserves much credit for taking the opportunity and seizing it. Good riddance to Davies and kudos to the NWCU.
It’s plainly obvious that Davies is completely unsuitable to serve on any of these groups if the public is to have any confidence in the groups’ integrity, but it’s not just about an individual like Davies. He was there representing the Countryside Alliance and all the associated toxicity that comes with that.
With Davies gone, will the Countryside Alliance now simply be invited to send another representative (probably coached in the background by Davies) to join the RPPDG and the other wildlife crime PDGs, or has the mask finally slipped too far now for the Countryside Alliance to be viewed as anything other than malignant?
Let’s see what happens.
29 thoughts on “Police boot off Countryside Alliance rep from all wildlife crime priority delivery groups after hunting webinar trial”
Considering that Phil Davies was representing the Countryside Alliance, and presumably the Countryside Alliance knew exactly that criminality was being encouraged, there simply cannot be any route back for them. And good riddance to them.
How long before the CA start attacking the RPPDG, and the “unjust” action taken against Davies?
Well done, at last the chin in the armour has been removed.
What needs to happen now is actual action against the many crimes, and make a strong stand against the hunters, and land owners who have for many years gotten away with murder, literally of birds of prey to protect the game industry.
The act of hunting anything is wrong on many levels, but the fact they have been coached in how to avoid prosecution just proves the fact that they are responsible for the killing of birds of prey.
And now it is believed that the wild Ken Hill site in Norfolk have been pressured into not being part of the white tailed Eagle reintroduction program, and even though they agree the site is absolutely perfect, funds raised, they have pulled out, was it Sandringham, was it the game bird killers, or both.
The government has for too long let the gun toting rich mobs have cart blanch over killing birds and animals in the persuit of fun, not it needs to end, there is absolutely no reason for it, nor is there any purpose behind it, I’m sure these people can find other ways to entertain themselves without killing stuff, like helping the homeless, or investing in the future of the very wildlife they keep killing, or even do important things towards cutting greenhouse gasses, and stop burning land.
And then our kids, and future generations will see some of the birds and animals in the wild and not a zoo, because if they carry on as they are we won’t have any birds of prey, or badgers, or foxes, they would become extinct.
Seems that the Hunt Saboteurs Association needs to be invited on, certainly for raptor, badger and poaching all of which they are active in combating. Time for the police to realise who is actually working to prevent wildlife crime
That is a very good idea. Considering that these groups have actively allowed the very organisations that are linked to wildlife crime to take part, then there should be no reason whatsoever for the Hunt Saboteurs Association to be involved. The participation of Hunt Sabs might give these groups the shake up that they so desperately need.
Is there a ‘not’ missing after ‘Association’?
Brilliant idea and it would also be some redress to the HSA and members for decades no less of being unjustly maligned in the national press. Some people fell for it, including yours truly, to the point I didn’t think they were that much better than the fox hunters and their followers – something I’m now heartily embarrassed and ashamed of. It was thanks to advances in technology that made filming accessible to us hoi polloi, that gave hunt saboteurs the opportunity to show what was really happening, and they had been at the receiving end of the violence not the perpetrators of it. In fact it seems many sabs are healthcare professionals and there have been incidents where they’ve given medical support to riders injured during hunts. I honestly can’t think of any other situation where the reality has been so utterly distorted by the bad bastards and their pals in the media. Goes with the territory of field ‘sports’ it seems.
Thanks RPUK for another great post followed by some illuminating comments.
God help british wildlife without fearless activists, The ‘killing for kicks’ brigade can feel the walls closing in.
[Ed: comment deleted as libellous]
What an uplifting result! Well done to all concerned….
The hunting lobby have just created new groupings in the past few years so they get more seats at the table on committees it is about time one was exposed for what it really represents and loss there seat.
Good. Glad action is now being taken in other directions after the trial of Hankinson.
The others need to be charged tho. Incl Phil Davies of the ” I hope no police are watching ” game. Well unlucky for you sunshine because they were.
Heads are starting to roll. Let’s keep the momentum up.
Bent cops spring to mind
‘ Bent cops spring to mind indeed’….Talk about follow the leader (well something like that). It might be a few years ago now, but dear Chief Inspector Davies (Retired) follows another high ranking ‘wildlife cop’ who springs to mind, also booted out of the force for being more in line with the people he was ‘keeping an eye on’ than those who were trying to protect wildlife itself….You couldn’t make it up!
[Ed: comment deleted as libellous]
Beware your sins will always be found out, so my mother used to say.
How right she was and this episode is a fine example of ‘so called trusted people’ being found out.
How good to see proper action taken against the Countryside Alliance organisation and all it stands for.
Many thanks to RPUK for once again rising to the occasion, your hard work is just so good..
Fantastic news!, xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx Great news!
[Ed: comment partially deleted as libellous]
I think advising people how to break the law without being caught should be considered conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. What staggers me is that an ex police chief doesn’t see this too.
It is, that is why I can’t understand the CPS decision not to go ahead and prosecute the others – unless they’ve been ‘got at’ of course!
I’ve been a Sab supporter for many years having had personal experience of how these people function — and base my views on those experiences. Many radicals have been mislabelled over the years thanks to the effectiveness of the media and others who were far too willing to take their utterences at face value.
it is a position that has made me a few enemies with those who believed the charade presented to them.
Maybe it’s time for a rethink and very, very few, if any, of any similar groups differ in essence.
The problem is when ‘radicals’ (for example) start seeing wildlife photography courses as part of a plot by THE ESTABLISHMENT to hijack rewilding, or CCTV not as a way of protecting us from mugging and having children abducted, but for THE ESTABLISHMENT to control the masses by acquiring such vitally important information as what time they nip into the newsagents. Now THAT’S what you call gullible.
Conspirators Alliance ?
Is this a group which represents the vested interests in the countryside??
The countryside might be a much nicer place, if the police and politicians spent more time listening to what the “Honestly Supports Animals” group of people have to say, people who give so much of their time and energy exposing what the “Conspirators” get up to!!!!
Well done to Kelly. Well done Ruth (I’m sure you’ve played a part) and not before time. This is one of the ‘ripples’ coming from the conviction of Hankinson. I’m hopeful and fairly sure there will be many more.
Strange isn’t it. All those faces on the leaked webinar. Only one in court and Davies struck off. So once again. Lord Mancroft gets away with it!! Why wasn’t he arrested too?????? Mmmmmmm. Disgraceful.
I see the NT AGM today voted against hunting on their land, 76k – 38k
Excellent news! Apparently, it is not a binding vote, but would the board dare to ignore it? Isn’t it just appalling that 38 thousand voted to maintain the charade?
Not binding, and the trustees are reluctant to act, it seems to me.
They will have no choice……..
I suspect the NT are realising their membership demographic isn’t what it was.