§ Mr. Maude
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Warwickshire on the injuries caused to police officers, and damage caused to police property in the course of the demonstration on 29 January at Cocksparrow farm, Lea Marston, Warwickshire; and if he will make a statement on the report;
(2) if he will call for a report from the chief constable of Warwickshire as to the cost of policing the demonstration on 29 January at Cocksparrow farm, Warwickshire; and if he will make a statement on the report.
§ Mr. Hurd
The chief constable tells me that during the demonstration one police officer was slightly cut in the 695W mouth; that no police property was damaged; and that the estimated additional cost of policing the demonstration was £53,000. The demonstration involved between 1,500 and 2,000 people, many apparently belonging to various animals rights groups, who gathered for three hours on 29 January outside Cocksparrow farm in protest at the breeding there of silver foxes for the fur trade. A number of the people wore hoods or masks. Some 600 officers, including 18 mounted officers from the west Midlands police, were deployed. During the demonstration large numbers of people attempted to enter the farm and several missiles were thrown at police officers. Towards the end of the demonstration, it was necessary to deploy mounted officers to clear an area in front of the farm after a particularly violent attempt to break through a police cordon near the fox pens. In a separate incident, one rider was unhorsed on rough ground, but neither the officer or the horse was injured. Many of the people left the demonstration before its end, but at about 4.30 pm it was necessary to disperse a core of 700 to 800 people. Twenty-five people were arrested, all for public order offences.