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Thread: .........And Further beyond the Urban Twit

  1. #1

    .........And Further beyond the Urban Twit

    Members will recall a post of mine, the Urban Twit, regarding a meeting I had with someone when setting out stalking on one of my stalking grounds here in Aberdeenshire last week. I reported on this persons attitude to my request as to where he intended walking so that I would know his whereabouts, for safety reasons et al.

    Well last night I had a call from Grampian Police........

    "Nothing to worry about Mr. Donsider but do you recall your activities last Tuesday evening near Alford......?"

    The penny dropped.. "Yes I do" I replied, and then the constable asked for my recollection of the evening and my meeting with a man and woman. I gave him my full account of the meeting and my follow up meeting with the Farm Manager and that I even recalled the events of the evening in my Game Book/Journal. I even told the constable that I gave a post of the account on this forum.

    "Thankyou very much Mr. Donsider". said the contable. This is not quite how the other side reported the situation". However, I did advise the constable that I had a right of access and was undertaking a rural activity and that he was interfering with my executing that activity both safely and effectively. Remember I had no witnesses.

    The constacle told me that the person in question was going on to him about his so called "Right to Rome" and that there shouldn't be people going about with high powered guns and that I was aggressive and that he did not see why he had to answer my questions. The constable told me, after further discussion, that there was no cause for concern on my part and that he would get back to the person (Mr. Twitt )and advise him accordingly.

    What is interesting here is that this person reported our meeting to the Police and his rather creative interpretation of events. And that the Police, all be it taking a few days, checked me out as to where I lived, what conditions were on my certificate, my occupation and as to the land being suitable for stalking before contacting me and finally, that there is now a recording of the event on file.

    Thank goodness I kept my cool and in no way either provoked or exacerbated the situation. Who know what could have happened then? A friend tells me that my firearms could have been removed pending a full Police enquirey. .......And all on the word of a "know all"

    Not wanting to lift the lid ff a hornets nest but I feel that perhaps the Shooting organisations such as BASC etc. should have a higher profile in incidents like this and that they should follow up these incidents and advise these members of the public accordingly. Here in Scotland there is no such thing as a "Right to Rome" but responsible access and that this access should not interfere with legitimate rural activities and pursuits. There is a television advertising campaign here on Scottish Television regarding this. I am sure there are many other stalkers who have had expensive stalking ruined because of hill walkers.

    After talking with the constable, who I should say was very understanding, helpfull and supportive, did agree that these sorts of incidents do arrise and, sadly, by the same mindframe but they have a duty to follow them up.

    I think we should always watch our Ps and Qs when coming accross these people whilst out stalking, that is, if you don't want a call from the Police.....


    Donsider

  2. #2
    What is it with these narrow minded, spiteful troublemakers. It's a shame the police don't throw the book at them for wasting their time.

  3. #3
    Well done Donsider, I'm not sure I could have handled the situation as well as you. You actions and diligence making notes etc have reflected well on the stalking and shooting community. All credit to you.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by donsider View Post
    Here in Scotland there is no such thing as a "Right to Rome" but responsible access and that this access should not interfere with legitimate rural activities and pursuits.
    That's true, we never lay claim to those ancient lands, but anyway nor is there a "Right to Roam"

    ha ha ha..couldn't help it mate. Anyhow, I'm a stalker and a hill walker, and I have to agree with both parties on the subject. The stalker obviously finds it a pain in the backside that people walk over his grounds, disturb his wildlife, and could potentially appear in the line of sight at any time,,,as well as causing trouble with the local police at times too of course. On the other hand though, if the land really is free to hill walkers and we all have a legitimate right to use the hills as we see fit, well, then it's not much fun either having to be afraid of accidentally getting shot, or being confronted by an armed member of the shooting community argueing 'their' case.

    We don't want to end up like some places in the world where land is so private that you can legally get shot by entering a step 'over the line',,nor do you want to be unable to enjoy your own land for because it's either not safe, or hill walkers are ruining it for you. I guess the best thing is to apply to the local council for 'private access' rights and then signpost in the relevant areas.

  5. #5
    a good account and "warning" donsider

    im just down the road from you a wee bit but come under a different police force jurisdiction.....

    i have friends who stalk in your area and it always amazes me the differences when compared between forces and their attitudes!!!!!

    i would say that Grampian must be one of the best towards shooters in attitude and time scale wise when having anything done with your cert.

    back to the point in hand.....your force was dilligent got the facts and got BOTH sides of the story.
    i wonder how many other forces would have had a knock on your door and your weapons removed before you could say boo ... and then try to justify yourself and get em back.

    i know people it happened to and the way the just throw stuff bout you could be looking a t a bit of damge to expensive glass etc and the stress of trying to justify yourself.

    a'the best

    sauer

  6. #6
    I think that a situation like this is the nightmare of everyone who spends time in the countryside but clearly when shooting you are left even more vulnerable as all it takes is for the nutters to make up some story about you pointing the rifle at them, or threatening to shoot them, and you are in big trouble. They know, of course, that it is impossible for you to disprove their statements and that you have absolutely no come back at them so they can say, or do, what they like. When we factor in the PC paranoia running rife in the police and society in general when it comes to "guns" then this compounds our problem.

    I am aware that some of the cycling nutters (probably the same demographic as are out to cause trouble for shooters) are using head mounted cameras to record the "sins" of motorists. I've seen some of the footage for which motorists were prosecuted and, it must be said, that in most cases the cyclist appeared to be in the wrong and appeared to engineer himself into a situation where conflict was certain so he could put his expensive head mounted camera to good use. At no time in the footage I've seen did the motorist engineer any disruption to the cyclist while it was clear that everything done by the cyclist was aimed at putting him into conflict with the motorist with a view to provoking a reaction and then using video of it to harass and victimise the motorist. Clearly you've seen something similar here Donsider as the people you met were intent on causing trouble and focused on giving the impression that you were putting them at danger while, all the time, by not being polite and helpful they were actually putting themselves in what they fancied to be "danger." It is impossible for us to deal with such ignorance and arrogance.

    Now, I think you were lucky that you got a policeman who perhaps had some appreciation of what you were trying to do or who formed the opinion that your new found friends were a bunch of interferring busy-bodies. However if the policeman involved had been one of the interferring busy-bodies himself then you might have found yourself in big trouble. It is perhaps only by dint of luck that you retain your rifles today.

    The police might argue that you are innocent until proven guilty but that will not keep your rifles in your safe I would suspect.

    So, maybe this is a discussion we all need to have. How do we protect ourselves against this sort of busy-body interference in our sport? The busy-body knows only too well that if he keeps up this sort of harassment then he will drive us away, reduce the ground we can stalk and the ultimate outcome is that it becomes almost impossible to stalk and that is his intention. We see the same thing with the busy-body RSPB and gamekeepers - how do you prove you didn't kill some bird which some busy-body claims they found dead on your ground? How do you prove that he brought it with him in the back of his car? I really don't have answers to these questions but would be interested in what others do in such situation and in what we should do when a busy-body starts making unfounded statements to police.

  7. #7
    I cannot remenber the text of your post exactly but may be worth printing it off and giving it to the PC reinforcing your points.remenber thinking at the time it was good. the more we can show police how tolerant we are the better respect we can get from them.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    That's true, we never lay claim to those ancient lands, but anyway nor is there a "Right to Roam"

    ha ha ha..couldn't help it mate. Anyhow, I'm a stalker and a hill walker, and I have to agree with both parties on the subject. The stalker obviously finds it a pain in the backside that people walk over his grounds, disturb his wildlife, and could potentially appear in the line of sight at any time,,,as well as causing trouble with the local police at times too of course. On the other hand though, if the land really is free to hill walkers and we all have a legitimate right to use the hills as we see fit, well, then it's not much fun either having to be afraid of accidentally getting shot, or being confronted by an armed member of the shooting community argueing 'their' case.

    We don't want to end up like some places in the world where land is so private that you can legally get shot by entering a step 'over the line',,nor do you want to be unable to enjoy your own land for because it's either not safe, or hill walkers are ruining it for you. I guess the best thing is to apply to the local council for 'private access' rights and then signpost in the relevant areas.
    I take on board what you say PKL, but good manners and politeness costs nothing. Yes, everyone should enjoy the countryside and all what it can offer. I spent years making films for television advertising the beauty of the Scottish Landscate and to get people out and to enjoy it.

    There are those responsible people who, when approaoched, respect your wishes and see your point. However, there are those also who could not give a dame and do as and when they please, the sort of person who would light a bonfire when you have hung washing out.

    I guess we just have to put up with them................!

  9. #9
    Mate of mine shot a fox that was worrying the girls horses at his livery yard, so he sat up one evening and gave it the goodnight juice with an unmoderated 30-06. Next door neighbour starts shouting abuse about his daughter saw what he did and is now crying and upset and he cant use a 30-06 on that land cos it is too small because he knows because he was once in the army...blah f***ng blah. The next day a WPC shows up and with a bored tone in her voice asks him for his side of "events". Off she went quite happy and called on the neighbour and gave him a verbal warning about harrassment of my mate and threatening behaviour....justice is done

  10. #10
    A few weeks ago we had a few words with a neighbour about a boundary dispute. Over two weeks later we get a phone call from the police , this guy had played the race card claiming all sorts, any way long and short was I asked PC what should we do if we have any dealings with him again.
    His advice was to record everything said on a mobile or similar AS THEY HAVE TO, TO COVER THEIR AR**S.
    What a joke .
    If even the police are not believed in court or by superiors what hope have the rest of us got ?

    Nick.

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