A female police officer responsible for animal welfare is coming under pressure to quit – over claims she regularly goes hunting.
PC Sharon Roscoe is a wildlife officer for Leicestershire Police and part of her role is to probe allegations of illegal fox hunting, trapping animals, game poaching and badger baiting.
But it has emerged PC Roscoe, 46, is also a keen member of the Duke of Rutland’s Belvoir Hunt in Lincolnshire.
In December the hunt was slammed by animal rights’ groups after a video emerged of a dehydrated fox which was said to have been held captive for two days in an outbuilding.
The League Against Cruel Sports claimed the animal was found in a building on the Buckminster Estate hours before the Belvior Hunt were due to meet.
The Hunt Saboteurs Association has now launched a petition demanding PC Roscoe is forced to quit, claiming she has a conflict of interests.
More than 2,700 people have signed the petition and campaigners have also written to Chief Constable Simon Cole and Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader calling for her to be removed from her post.
The letter reads: ‘PC Sharon Roscoe rides regularly with the Belvior Hunt, whilst simultaneously having responsibility for wildlife and rural crimes within Leicestershire.
‘We feel these two positions are completely untenable.’
Campaigners claim she is in breach of the Police Regulations 2003 which forbids officers from activities which may compromise their impartiality.
The letter goes on: ‘A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression among members of the public that it may so interfere.