New post to help in fight against wildlife crime in Derbyshire

Alan Charles
Alan Charles
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Police chiefs in Derbyshire want a wildlife co-ordinator to work alongside wildlife crime officers to help identify the best way to tackle offenders.

The police staff post will help the team by organising warrants, identifying wildlife crime hotspots and operating the force’s Farm Watch scheme.

A poster campaign is also being rolled out to highlight the wide variety of wildlife crimes including poaching, the import or export of endangered species, bat persecution and killing birds of prey.

The posters warn of £5,000 fines and jail terms for some offences.

They urge people to report suspicious behaviour to the police.

Alan Charles, Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has pledged to make cutting wildlife crime a focus for the force.

He said: “This post will see a member of police staff, rather than a police officer, undertaking this new role which is a far more efficient use of our resources.

“I know from conversations with local people that they feel very strongly about the need to tackle wildlife crime which is something they find totally unacceptable. That’s why I have pressed for targeted

work in this area.

“This new position will go a long way towards helping us deliver an improved service, with our partners, to address wildlife and rural criminality.”

Wildlife crime officers recently investigated the killing of a goshawk which was found on the Chatsworth Estate.

The bird of prey was found in April and it was later discovered that both its legs had been broken, leading officers to believe it had been unlawfully snared and killed.

Sergeant Darren Belfield, who runs the wildlife crime unit, said he hoped the poster campaign would encourage members of the public to report suspicious behaviour and help police stamp out wildlife crime.

He said: “This is not just a problem in rural communities; many of the people who commit offences against our wildlife and environment live in urban areas and travel widely in order to do so.

“They also do not just target wildlife – rural communities are often seen as a soft target for other crime like theft of fuels and plant and farm machinery.

“If you suspect anyone in your community of being involved in criminality against wildlife, the environment and indeed any other types of offending, you should telephone police to report it or report it

anonymously via Crimestoppers.”

To find out more about the wildlife co-ordinator vacancy visit and head to the ‘Careers’ page.