Countryside Alliance chairman Kate Hoey and Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner have written to the chief constable of Hampshire Police following the dawn arrests of four men on Thursday, 3 May (news, 10 May). They are understood to have written to express concern at the way in which the arrests were handled.

The men are connected with the Isle of Wight hunt and were arrested on suspicion of breaching the Hunting Act during an incident in November 2006. As H&H went to press on Monday, Hampshire Police confirmed the men will not be charged, and rebuffed claims that their action was disproportionate.

“Any complaints we receive will be dealt with proportionately,” said a spokesman for Hampshire Police.

The same spokesman refused to comment on whether the force would carry out dawn arrests for a motoring offence, which, as a non-recordable offence, is on a par with a breach of the Hunting Act.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (17 May, ’07)