Neil Tregarthen, from Truro, Cornwall felt compelled to spend £10,000 on a private detective to investigate the air gun shooting of his daughter’s black cat, Farah, in Burnt House Lane, Exeter, because the Devon and Cornwall police were disinterested in properly investigating the crime. The police deny this and say they have investigated fully.
The attitude of the police gave the impression to the Tregarthen family that the killing of a kitten is a relatively minor crime which fails to justify any more work.
Neil Tregarthen says the police have failed to recognise that cat abuse and cat killing is often perpetrated by people who go on to commit major crime against people. Also, this not a minor crime for the family and all the cat lovers of the UK. There is a massive emotional aspect to this. The police’s attitude encourages further crimes of a similar nature.
The private detective compiled a file of 6 weeks of work, which contained evidence good enough for Neil Tregarthen and family to seriously consider commencing a private prosecution. They obviously have a name to prosecute. In fact, they have a witness who saw the main suspect shooting another cat. The police reject the evidence as not good enough.
The police refused to use the evidence to start a criminal prosecution of their own. Why isn’t the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) involved. The police appear to have blocked them getting involved. Has the file been sent to the CPS direct?
The whole experience has been particularly dire for the family because the cat staggered home and died two days later. The cat was in tremendous pain and Neil’s daughter had to endure this experience.
A vet tried to save Farah but failed. There are two sides to this story. I favour the side which says the police are disinterested in pursuing what they consider to be minor crime which includes the killing of cats, burglary and muggings etc.. This is not good enough. Budget cut backs are not to blame for this attitude. It is just the police failing to prioritise properly.
Source: BBC News on TV and BBC online.