A few people have asked me what the status is with the Governments Bill, part of which includes an increase to a five year max for animal cruelty.
The simple answer is I don’t know. I have tried to find out through the ‘proper’ channels, but didn’t even get a reply to my brief question.
Quite often it helps if a large number of people all message the same question.
I wouldn’t normally ask people to send dull e-mails, but this is an exception since its brief and everyone wants to know the status of the Bill.
I don’t have the answer, but I know a man who does and that man is Michael Gove MP. As Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, this (weirdly) falls under his remit.
It would be very useful if as many people as possible could send off a quick message to the guy’s office and ask what the status of the Bill is.
The more that send messages the more likely you’ll be to get some replies coming in, at which stage we will have a clear idea where we are at.
There are two e mail addresses for Gove. I’d suggest you send your question to both, spreads your bets as it were.
Remember, the more people that do this the better. It only takes two or three lines. Consider sending one as soon as you’ve read this. Once you’ve sent your question to his office let us know in the comments section of FB.
We had quite a few people put themselves forward as potential spot checkers on those who have a life ban. I’ve sent a brief reply/thanks to each of them of which there were about a dozen.
The difficulty is that they are individuals as far afield as Belfast to Manchester. It would be far too big of a task to operate it correctly in an ad hoc way in multiple places at once.
I definitely think this can be done and it can be done properly, but I think it would be logistically easier and just far more logical to pilot the scheme in one city and smooth out any rough edges in that one city so we get it all just right.
It would also make sense to select (as the pilot) the city, town or region that appears to have most reported instances of cruelty.
According to the RSPCA, in 2016 (which is as up to date as I can find), the number one region was Durham. Number two was East Riding of Yorkshire and in third was North Yorkshire.
I’m no expert on Durham but looking it up the population itself is only 48,000. Quite small – Redcar sized.
I guess the nearest major city would be Newcastle upon Tyne and that you’d then have areas like Darlington etc not far.
Based on all of that it would make sense to try to recruit prospective spot checkers from that area.
Not much sense in picking some little tranquil town in which things like this happen once every 25yrs.
So, if you are in that general region and you are interested in being a prospective spot checker of those with life bans – then contact us for details.
This isn’t an SAS type situation. No one is turning up in ski masks or jumping through windows. No crimes are being committed nor suggested.
However, if this is done well then its a great way of bringing attention to a court order broken that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Court orders that involve a life ban are only any use if in fact they are being adhered to and that relies on those with life bans being randomly checked.
This is not about vigilantism. This is about the community service of simply making sure someone banned for life is sticking to their ban.
If they are – fine. If not? The evidence is handed over. We’d also do our thing and make sure the person in clear violation got lots of unwanted views and we’d attempt to draw attention to the court violation to authorities. Not everyone will be suited to this and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if we began with a small group of up to four people who already trust one another.
We’ve not done anything this year with the purpose of getting press. Ciss sadly passing away obviously set us all back.
It takes a fair bit of planning etc to do the sort of things that the press will find appealing enough to cover and, along with the promotion they tended to always publish our statement in full.
While social media has on some level reduced the importance of the press, I would absolutely still say that to the average person, the ‘formal’ press creates a perception that’s different to something simply being shared on social media.
My intention is to get us back to a level when we could do that which would have the press affording us full pages and front pages.
The last time we had good press was in October and with one thing and another I just haven’t tried to get any since.
There are just one or two practical issues we still need to fix and we’ll be able to do that sort of thing again.
Putting posters up
Sometimes we find that inexpensive grass roots actions work pretty well. At various points during the last two years we’ve had several posters put up in various towns and the pics sent in to us.
We’re fortunate to have two or three good people that will put one together for us very quickly, and when people do print them out and put them around town it raises awareness but it also leaves a presence in that given town.
The posters can be removed but once photographed and sent it we can ‘immortalise’ them online.
If you think doing the spot checking might not be your bag then maybe printing off some of our posters and putting them up in town would be more suited.
This is a tactic we’re done before and its worked well before.
Its just impossible to forecast when people will do it or not. We sometimes get lucky and find a good number of people will print off and do it.
At other times we’ve had a really crisp visual made up and for whatever reason no one has printed it off and used it as suggested. That’s what I mean by impossible to forecast.
Based on quite intense experience since we started out I’d say I’ve probably had a couple of hundreds cases put in front of me at one time or another. All grim in their own way but not equally so.
Its a good thing that I can write that a case like the one involving those two was uniquely cruel. Not all acts of cruelty or neglect are also off the scale weird. Someone can be charged under the Act for not getting proper veterinary care. Not good but not weird per se. Someone can have their dog removed if its under fed. Cruel? Sure. But not what you might call uniquely psychotic.
But Andrew and Daniel Frankish, Robert Koch and maybe a handful of others I could mention? They were uniquely cruel and sadistic. They are blatantly the most dangerous of all the different forms of animal abusers. Anyone can see and understand why they stand out among the rest and any criminal profiler would absolutely tell you that they are the most dangerous of all.
While we had zero contact with the Frankish family in terms of dialogue, we did at one time have a written back and forth with Robert Koch’s brother. He was affable enough and made no attempt to downplay or excuse the actions of his sibling.
In fact he stated to me that he had expressed his fears about his brother to prison authorities and a psychiatrist. He expressed fears of it leading on to people. When I put it to him that since his brother was middle aged, logic would suggest it had led to people before now. It was only when I began to pick away at that area that he suddenly ceased to communicate any more. Make of that what you will.
Relatively speaking, individuals in this category are quite rare.
Here’s a comparison. Every day in the UK there are an estimated 100,000 groomers online that seek out children. The scale and volume of that issue is such that its going to take some sort of radical and unexpected state action to truly address it. Even with the 100 or so anti grooming groups that operate in the country, they themselves admit they can only scratch the surface.
Relative to groomers, psychotic individuals like a Frankish or Koch are much more rare. Thank God (or whoever). We’re not coming across ten cases a day like it. Not even ten per week.
This means it should be much more manageable and it should, in theory, make them easier to keep track of.
I definitely think its important that any neighbourhood is wise to someone as psychotic as that moving in. We can only ever show the locals what they have among them.
They normally opt to protest having it among them and the individual moves on. There might be times when, for whatever reason, they accept what is among them. They do so at their own peril but its each communities decision to make.
They don’t need to accept it, they can show their dissent in a robust but legal way. This is usually more than enough for the person to move on or be moved on. If a community wouldn’t accept a known sexual predator then they shouldn’t accept a known psychotic sadist.