Villagers want probe into cat killings

VILLAGERS last nightcalled for a police investigation into the mystery of their missing cats which have disappeared without a trace.This year 23 cats have gone missing in the village of Colne Engaine.

VILLAGERS last nightcalled for a police investigation into the mystery of their missing cats which have disappeared without a trace.

This year 23 cats have gone missing in the village of Colne Engaine.

One cat has been shot and another villager fears her pet was poisoned. A similar number vanished from the tiny hamlet last year and in 2001.

Last month villagers got together and passed on details of lost cats to the police.


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Last night pet owners met again for a progress report on the police investigation into the missing cats.

The villagers, many of whom had lost cats, were angry because police did not attend the meeting and had not followed up the reports of their lost pets.

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They wrote a letter at the meeting calling for their plight to be taken seriously and saying they were disappointed no more has been done.

It said: "We believe we have a right to expect a much higher level of service."

All those attending the meeting signed the letter, which will be sent to Essex Police Chief Constable David Stevens, Saffron Walden MP Alan Haselhurstand Braintree MP Alan Hurst.

One villager, who did not want to be named, said: "We were all promised a phonecall but we have heard nothing. We pay enough council tax to the police, as far as I'm concerned we have seen no response. We have taken the trouble to come together for a second time and no-one can be bothered to turn up."

Michelle Kemp's tom cat, Arthur, was shot in May. "He was out one day. He returned home, he was in agony, growling and in a right state. I took him to vet and she didn't know what it was. Then the bullet worked its way out."

Ms Kemp said she contacted the police, on the vet's advice. No policeman came to visit her, or looked at the bullet, which she has kept. "The only thing I got was criminal damage survey which I thought was pretty laughable really."

This is not the first year that cats have gone missing from the village. Twenty disappeared in 2001 and it is thought a similar number vanished last year. Some people believe the phenomenon has being going on for a decade.

Another villager, who did not give her name, said she lost one cat last year and this year she believes another of her cats has been poisoned. She found it dead, but still warm in her garden.

"I had no idea until a friend told me about the last meeting. I thought it was my cat. I had no idea it was quite such a problem."

One villager said her cat, Charlie, and her neighbour's pet, Oliver, went missing on the same night - when she heard shots coming from nearby woods. She never found a trace of her cat.

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