A police association has made a formal complaint about a Lancashire officer’s claims that horse slashings could be related to Paganism.
The Police Pagan Association has asked the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to look into Lancashire Constabulary, after an officer said that blade attacks on five horses in Winmarleigh and Over Wyre might be linked to summer solstice rituals.
The Police Pagan Association said it had received four complaints about the comments made to the Lancashire Evening Post, including two from Pagan members of Lancashire Constabulary.
PC Andrew Pardy, the association’s founding chairman, denied any link between the crimes and Paganism, and said he wanted to stop confusing the religion with Satanism.
He said: “The Police Pagan Association has a duty to fully investigate the complaint, but also to resolve any issues around misunderstanding and training within the police service. The Police Pagan Association is currently working with senior officers within Lancashire Constabulary to address the issue and ensure that incidents of this type do not recur.”
He added: “The Police Pagan Association is involved in their investigation into the complaint, which Lancashire Constabulary has now referred to its professional standards department.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said there were no updates in relation to the slashings, and nobody had been arrested.
They declined to provide any further information on the official investigation into the officer’s comment regarding Paganism.
A police spokesperson said, “We are aware that comments made to the Lancashire Evening Post recently suggesting that Pagans may be linked to attacks on horses has caused some offence.
“We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to anyone who has been offended; this was certainly not our intention . The comments made are not a reflection of the views of Lancashire Constabulary as a whole.
“Lancashire Constabulary encourages an open and inclusive culture and celebrates the diversity of our workforce and communities”