More than 8,000 people have signed an online petition to the Home Secretary calling for an explanation of the policing of the meet of the Avon Vale hunt in Lacock on December 27.

The petition, which is also directed at Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson, was started by a member of the anti-hunt lobby.

The petition alleges that one of the officers present at the meet was personally connected to the Avon Vale hunt.

PCC Wilkinson has now asked the Chief Constable to “conduct a thorough review” of the incident – at which a brawl broke out between anti-hunt protesters and hunt supporters – to establish if lessons can be learned for the policing of other such events.

The PCC is now determining whether a “fuller investigation into police conduct is warranted” and if a complaints procedure needs to be followed.

The petition is titled “Alleged Wiltshire police collusion/corruption in policing Avon Vale hunt” and it appears to have been launched on New Year’s Eve. It is seeking 10,000 signatures; already 8,262 people have signed it.

Wiltshire police have arrested three people on suspicion of affray, two from Westbury and one from Melksham, in connection with enquiries into the incident.

Wiltshire Police have referred enquiries regarding the petition to the office of PCC Wilkinson.

Today Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “I have been kept fully updated in relation to the incident in Lacock on 27 December and I have asked the Chief Constable to conduct a thorough review of what happened before, during and after the incident in order to identify any lessons that Wiltshire Police will use to inform, and improve, the policing of similar events in the future.

“The Chief Constable and I are determined that Wiltshire Police will enforce the law impartially, without fear or favour, against whomsoever should break it.

“My office is now assessing, from the volume of correspondence received, whether a legally eligible complaint has been made and whether a fuller investigation into police conduct is warranted. If this is deemed to be the case, then the complaints process will be followed.”

Two police officers attended the meet of the hunt at Lacock, at which more than 50 hunt protesters and around 100 hunt supporters were present.

The petition, which was started by somebody calling themselves Fox UK, asks why more officers were not assigned to police the event and states, “What assurances can Wiltshire police give that all future public events will be policed with fairness, impartiality and with public safety in mind?”

In an update they said: “It is vital to raise public awareness around the conduct of the Hunts, the illegality and violence associated with them.

“They continue to operate in plain sight with their arrogant contempt and disregard towards the decent majority but the power balance can shift if we continue to hold them to account.”