This year sees the election for the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) across England and Wales. PCC’s are elected representatives who have a responsibility for policing in each area,with a commissioner being elected every four years.
In recent weeks, the town Devizes in Wiltshire, has seen a flood of posters put up decrying hopeful PCC candidate, conservative and former hunt master- Johnathon Seed. Many of these posters appear to have been ripped down, only for more to be put up again. The posters read “Would you trust this man?” and “He is a wildlife killer!” and urge people not to give him their vote on May 6th.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Johnathon Seed, a candidate for largely rural county Wiltshire, is in fact a well-known former hunt master for the Avon Hale Hunt who has even admitted to wanting the fox hunting ban overturned. He not only has a long historical affiliation with the hunting world, which as we know is far from law-abiding, his name even appears in a past court-case connected with breaking the Hunting Act 2012. Furthermore, there are public images of Mr Seed out hunting and obvious evidence suggesting the very hunt he led had the potential to be quite an unpleasant bunch.
It doesn’t take a genius to spot the conflict of interest here,which much of the anti-hunt public have spotted and made it clear how they feel.While we have an election whereby the public are casting their votes as to who is going to be implementing important policies and directing focus on certain crimes, we have a man who has previously been in trouble with the very law he is now wanting to police. On top of this, we have seen the leaked evidence that the Hunting Office is trying to influence the PCC election to benefit themselves. A huge amount of conflict of interest and blatant corruption in front of our eyes.
Wildlife crime is something most will acknowledge isn’t policed properly and isn’t taken seriously enough. With increasing public focus and education of looking after our planet and its inhabitants, there is an increasing element of pressure put on law enforcement to increase wildlife crime investigation and enforce the hunting act that is so often broken. Therefore, 2021’s PCC election is a good opportunity to elect those who care about wildlife crime. This naturally puts Mr Seed in the most undesirable of positions- not to be trusted.
Keep The Ban launched a petition for a vote of no confidence in Mr Seed, that has nearly hit the 25,000 mark. With the amount of campaigning against Mr Seed and the very obvious arguments against him being in a position of power, we would hope electors will think twice when casting their vote.