OPINION: Philip Seccombe not fit for role as Police and Crime Commissioner

Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Seccombe, is once more running as a candidate in the 2 May PCC election. In a two-part series, Protect the Wild takes a closer look at his extensive links to hunting – including to his friends in the Warwickshire Hunt – and argues that someone with such an obvious conflict of interest is not fit to stand for a role that is meant ‘to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account’.

Seccombe has already been elected as Warwickshire’s PCC for two terms. Despite this, there has been much public concern about this pro-fox hunting man, who – among other roles as PCC – must set police objectives and hold the Chief Constable to account. Campaigners argue that Seccombe is abusing his power as PCC, protecting his friends in the Warwickshire Hunt as they tear up foxes.

As a young man, Seccombe attended the Royal Agricultural College – notorious for training its youths to hunt wild animals. And much like other men influential within the hunting industry, he previously worked in the military – reaching the rank of Colonel in the Territorial Army.

The hunting lobby is very aware that getting pro-hunting people into PCC positions across England and Wales ensures that foxes can be slaughtered with little police intervention. This was revealed when minutes from a 2020 Master of Foxhounds Association meeting were leaked. In the meeting, the chair stated that pro-hunting lobbying Vote-OK must stay afloat with £18,000 worth of donations to “help with next year’s PCC elections”. Vote-OK exists entirely to get pro-hunting people into positions of power.

Seccombe himself is a member of the pro-hunting lobby group the Countryside Alliance (CA), which works to overturn the Hunting Act. Despite this, he continually denies that he has any influence over the policing of hunting in his area. Hunt saboteurs and campaigners disagree, arguing that Seccombe’s links to the Warwickshire Hunt have had huge impact on the way it is policed. The PCC was recently forced to apologise for leaving a ‘laughing emoji’ on a West Midlands Hunt Sabs Facebook post.

The Warwickshire Hunt

In our recent comprehensive analysis of the hunting industry, Hunting: A Case for Change, we found that the Warwickshire Hunt is one of the most prolific packs in the country, continually breaking the Hunting Act 2004. In the 2022/23 season, 22.3% of the Warwickshire Hunt’s meets resulted in some sort of chase or kill of a fox. And these were only the fox chases that were witnessed and recorded online by hunt saboteurs on the ground, so the figure is likely higher.


Philip Seccombe
Philip Seccombe (right) reminds himself what some of his key roles should be as PCC

The secret protocol

Protect the Wild has written a number of times about the mysterious withdrawal of the Warwickshire Hunt’s Community Protection Notice (CPN), a legal measure designed to stop’ a business or organisation from committing antisocial behaviour which spoils the community’s quality of life’.

The hunt was issued a CPN by Warwickshire Police in December 2022 for causing road chaos. The force said on Facebook “We’ve issued this because we gave Warwickshire Hunt a warning notice in May 2022 about antisocial use of the county road network. We continue to see unreasonable and dangerous use of the roads.” The decision to restrict the hunt was widely welcomed, but fast-forward to August 2023 and Warwickshire Police backtracked, having negotiated with the hunt to come to a “sensible working arrangement”. The police didn’t expand upon what this private protocol was, but did state that said-protocol has been proposed by the hunt itself. Despite pressure from local MP Matt Western – who is demanding that the secret protocol is made public – no one outside of Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Hunt, and likely PCC Seccombe, has seen the protocol – if it even exists.

When questioned by hunt saboteurs about whether he had anything to do with the CPN being overturned, Seccombe said:

“Well, the notice was served, it was discussed with lawyers, everything else, and an agreement has been reached… It’s a protocol… It’s not a public document as far as I know… It’s an agreement between a private lawful activity [sic] and the police.”

Seemingly very keen to keep the protocol out of the public eye, Seccombe stated that it can remain secret under Section 32 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which relates to court records. Section 32 essentially says that there is no right of access under the FOI Act to information contained in court records as it gives an absolute exemption from disclosure of such information.

West Midlands Sabs pointed out:

“In our opinion if the CA had any involvement in helping the Warwickshire Hunt getting the CPN dropped then the Police and Crime Commissioner who is a member of the CA certainly has some questions to answer over his position and whether there is a conflict of interest.”


Facebook friends

We teamed up with wildlife defender Mikkeycee and took the liberty to have a look at Seccombe’s numerous social media friends connected to the Warwickshire Hunt.

His list of friends linked to hunting is extensive, and include:

” I’ve likely owned 25-plus [horses] that I’ve hunted… I was an investment banker, now retired, and was Master of Foxhounds for 15 seasons.”


“Warwickshire Hunt director’s son Chris Rutter was driving about on an overloaded, uninsured quadbike with no visible license plates.”


  • The Deakin/Tutcher families: Lynne Deakin was another director of the Warwickshire hunt between 2011 and 2018. Deakin is an avid hunter, and was also a master of the hunt. Lynne was married to ex-Warwickshire huntsman William Deakin. Back in 2018 she wrote of her hunting ‘career’:

I have spent the past six seasons as a joint master of the Warwickshire Hunt. Before that, I had worn many different ‘hats’ within the Warwickshire since moving here from the Holderness 27 years ago with my now ex-husband William Deakin and twin daughters, Stella and Bessie.”


Seccombe is also social media friends with William Deakin’s current wife, Sue Deakin. In her Facebook profile photo, Sue and William are posing with her daughter Poppy Tutcher as she sits on her horse in hunting attire as the first woman to become huntsman for the Belvoir Hunt. Meanwhile, Seccombe is also social media friends with Poppy’s sister, hunter Tilly Tutcher. The CA said of William when he retired as huntsman of 22 seasons:

“Since the ban he has never faltered from doing his job with 100% commitment despite the risk of prosecution and a criminal record, emphasising his loyalty and love of hunting and a country way of life.



  • William Forsyth: William is a Warwickshire Hunt steward and the husband of current joint master and director Olivia Forsyth.




As the end of 2023, Daniel Maggs posted photos of highlights of his year, including this one. Photo via Facebook
At the end of 2023, Seccombe’s Facebook friend Daniel Maggs posted photos of highlights of his year, including this one. Photo via Facebook


On top of all this, Seccombe has a number of other hunting friends who like to post about their exploits, including:




  • Graham White: Seccombe’s Facebook friend White likes to post various photos and videos of hunting. He is listed on a leaked database of the Warwickshire Hunt’s subscribers. His social media photos include this gruesome image:


Seccombe's Facebook friend Graham White posts numerous pro-killing photos, including this one. Photo via Facebook
Graham White posts numerous pro-killing photos, including this one. Photo via Facebook

This list is by no means exhaustive. Seccombe’s social media friends also include a number of other hunters who are linked to, and have posted videos and photos of the Warwickshire Hunt.

Vote Seccombe out

With all these links to fox hunting, our opinion is that Seccombe is not fit to stand for and work as PCC. If you live in Warwickshire and are as outraged by Seccombe’s ties to the hunting industry as we are, you have the power to vote him out.

Action Against Foxhunting Midlands has produced Vote Seccombe Out hoodies and t-shirts, which you can buy here. The group has stated:

For too long his corruption has tainted the Warwickshire police and has resulted in a major breakdown of trust. His personal affiliation to the Countryside Alliance and his love of fox hunting has meant that the Warwickshire Hunt have been able to terrorise local wildlife and residents, as they run wild, causing havoc on roads and intimidating the public.

On the 2nd May residents of Warwickshire will vote for who they want to be the Police & Crime Commissioner. This is our opportunity to relieve Seccombe of his role.”

  • Part two of our analysis of PCC Seccombe will follow soon.