The Squires’ experience of dealing with Hampshire Police over Chris Packham matters during the last couple of years left us feeling – rightly or wrongly – that the organisation was a clueless chumocracy. Hopefully there are others who have had better experiences. And at least there’s a new Chief Constable, Scott Chilton, at the helm these days.
Either which way, the Countryside now eagerly awaits the results of Hampshire Police’s ongoing investigation into the goshawk case involving Packham (CRN 44230264277).
To some this may seem a petty matter. To those in the countryside over in the real world where career-ending prosecutions have been made over such seemingly trivial matters it’s very important indeed that justice is seen to be done, and soon.
While, no doubt, Hampshire Constabulary’s CountryWatch PSI’s at Lyndhurst are trying their very best to look objectively into any transgressions of the law by Packham and others, unfortunately there is already the impression across Countryside social media groups that it’s one law for Packham and one for the rest of the population.
Local MP and Home Secretary Suella Braverman was also invited to that awards ceremony but at least her damage limitation team advised her to steer clear of any potential Packham-related blowback, just a few weeks before a High Court civil trial. Instead she, wisely, made a brief appearance by video-link rather than being seen there in person.
The Police Oath: I do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the King in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will to the best of my power; cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will, to the best of my skill and knowledge, discharge all the duties thereof faithfully and according to law.
It would seem that last night’s Channel 4 documentary involving Packham asking Is It Time to Break the Law? has not helped matters either. Countryside groups are fuming.
How would others be treated going onto the telly to ask that question? OFCOM is getting inundated with complaints and they must feel for poor Tim Davie at the BBC who gets bombarded with such fury about Packham daily (while having to deal with other, more pressing issues right now).
Apparently a New Forest businessman has already reported Packham to the police for inciting terrorism on that programme. Reginald Chester-Sterne, who owns Norris & Sons store in Beaulieu, says he is “greatly” alarmed that Mr Packham’s messaging in the Channel 4 documentary could incite eco activists to “bomb” the nearby Fawley oil refinery.
Good luck, Hampshire police!
No doubt you are trying your very best, but do watch the optics.
Hopefully, finally, the BBC One Show are providing you with all that you need. Whatever’s going on, you can be sure that now all eyes are upon you.