01 May 2006

British Supermarket Processing Photos Reports Hunter to the Police

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The Telegraph supplies a story indicating just how marginalized firearms and hunting have become in Britain.

A deer hunter who took his photographs to a supermarket for processing was shocked to find himself reported to police.

Although the sport is legal, Tesco gave his details to officers who questioned him for several hours.

Last night the store was accused of “demonising” people who participate in field sports.

“Peter Williams”, who asked for his real name not to be published, said he was “made to feel like a terrorist”. Tesco has no ban on photographs of shooting and its privacy policy says: “We will never pass your personal data to anyone else”, but it contacted the police without telling Mr Williams.

Mr Williams, who is in his early thirties, from north Devon, took his film to Tesco in Barnstaple. Staff deemed photographs of him with his gun and a deer he had shot “inappropriate”, although he had broken no animal cruelty or firearms laws.

Mr Williams said that he was “utterly shocked and stunned” when two policemen arrived at his house on a Sunday morning with a set of prints given to them by Tesco.

After questioning him, the police accepted that he had a firearms certificate and had not broken any laws. Simon Hart, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, which campaigns on rural issues, said: “This is one of the most disturbing and ridiculous examples of ignorance and demonisation, of which Tesco should be ashamed.”

Mr Williams asked the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), of which he is a member, to demand an explanation from Tesco. Sir Terry Leahy, the chief executive of Tesco, replied that staff had acted appropriately: “On being asked to view the prints, our store’s management team decided that there was cause for concern and as such contacted the police.”

A second letter on behalf of Sir Terry said: “Tesco does not discriminate against any lawful section of the community… We are confident that the actions of our staff were… within the law.”

Last night a spokesman for Tesco said: “We are sorry for any upset or distress caused to the gentleman. However, if our staff are concerned about the content of photographic material it is right that they should seek advice from the appropriate authorities, in this instance, the police.”

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “With any allegation of a possible criminal offence which is referred to the police, we have a duty to the community to make inquiries, particularly with any issues involving firearms.”

One Feedback on "British Supermarket Processing Photos Reports Hunter to the Police"

Thomas Gondolfi

If a people (The British) are going to be the sheep that allow their ability to carry and use firearms to be taken away from them, then I say “Quit whining and change the laws or leave the country”
The amendment that affirms our right to keep and bear arms was not written to allow us to hunt or target shoot. It is evident, from all the correspondence taking place at the time, that the right to bear arms was to protect the populace from the government.


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