A recent expose showed that shooters are using the emergency services radio bandwidth, and that has safety implications for everyone. Not just badgers.
“Stop the Cull” recently found that badger cull shooters were having their radio equipment bought for them by taxpayers, that kit operates on the same frequencies as the emergency services, you can read about it here. (guardian link)
This story brings up a number of serious issues, as the headline in the guardian states, tax payers money is being spent on a cull that was supposed to be paid for by the farming community. Whilst many people will be rightly angry about that, a far more serious issue is being overlooked; Safety.
Shooters contracts specifically state that:
“If a contractor encounters anyone in the area of their intended activity they are to cease operations immediately and withdraw from the area, without engaging anyone and informing the operations centre of the event as soon as possible.”
Last year in a few areas some of the shooters completely ignored their “contractor risk assessment” which they had signed.
We know from this same document that all contractors are to have radios AND mobile phones fully charged when they go out and must radio in when they get home after a nights culling.
Many areas of the badger cull are in remote rural locations with poor mobile signal, the tetra hand sets are vital for shooters at night if they are to operate safely. That safety has now been obliterated by anti cull activists having tetra detectors.
But the real risk isn’t from anti cull activists. Criminals or terrorists could now feasibly purchase tetra detection devices, go into a cull zone, cover their faces, shine a torch into a shooters face and when the shooter stands down, overwhelm them and take their gun from them. Whether or not this is likely to happen is debatable, BUT if shooters are concerned that they might face having weapons stolen from them then it massively increases the chances of serious violence to occur.
For the anti cull movement, tetra detection is just another wave of technology being used against badger killers, Thermal Imaging drones are also being deployed and these will also help to locate badgers in traps.
Please as a matter of urgency contact Avon and Somerset police AND Gloucestershire police commisioners and ask them to review their forces recommendations of tetra handsets, use your own words, or copy and paste our letter below into an email:
Dear Mr. Surl & Ms.Mountstevens,
I understand that the badger cull licence states:
“Natural England may revoke a licence at any time following advice from the police on public order issues.”
I ask you to revoke the licence on the grounds of public safety.
If you are not willing to revoke the licences, the very least you could do is to remove tetra handsets from shooters who go out at night.
The shooters are contracted to stand down when members of the public are near.
They could be easily found now due to the tetra detection devices and anyone wanting to steal a firearm could as a consequence of the polices decision to give them this kit, easily locate and overwhelm them.
We have strong gun control in this country and that is a good thing, it prevents criminals and people from terror organisations like daesh and the national front from getting hold of shotguns and high powered rifles.
With shooters being aware of this potential threat, they may well become aggressive towards any civilians and no one wants to see violent confrontations involving firearms.
I eagerly await your response.
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