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Wildlife co-ordinator takes up post to help cut crime against animals

Posted on 24th November 2014

Liz Hadfield

A dedicated co-ordinator will be helping the force crack down on wildlife crime after taking on a newly created role.

Liz Hadfield will be working closely with Derbyshire’s wildlife crime police officers to identify the best way to tackle the issue across the county.

Her role includes increasing awareness of wildlife crime, identifying problem hotspots, helping run the force’s Farm Watch scheme and organising further training for the wildlife crime police officers.

The aim is to help cut crime such as poaching, badger baiting and sett destruction, shooting or poisoning birds of prey, disturbing bat roosts, taking wild bird eggs, fishing without a license and uprooting protected plants.

Each one of these crimes can have a devastating effect on the Derbyshire countryside and police receive hundreds of calls from members of the public relating to wildlife offences each year.

Liz said she was interested in the role after several previous volunteering spells at wildlife trusts in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

She said: “I have always had an interest in wildlife and conservation so when I heard about this role, I was very enthusiastic.

“I’d previously volunteered with the wildlife trusts in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire for about five years, and as an education officer at the trust in Lincolnshire, before I went into teaching.

“But I really wanted to get back into wildlife conservation and to make a difference, and so I eventually started volunteering in Lincolnshire again.

“I feel that the experiences I gained through that volunteering will be of great use in tackling the issue of wildlife crime across Derbyshire.”

The wildlife co-ordinator role was created as part of PCC Alan Charles’ pledge to make the issue a focus for the force.

As part of the work, a series of posters were created highlighting specific crimes and urging members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

They also remind people of the consequences of taking part in wildlife crime, which can include fines of up to £5,000 and six months in prison.

Liz said: “As someone who is passionate about protecting and conserving wildlife, it’s really pleasing to see that there is a focus on the issue.

“The countryside needs protecting and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and helping the force achieve that.”

PCC Alan Charles said: “This appointment is further illustration that the Constabulary is putting a firm focus on wildlife crime, which I believe has been shaped by the outcomes from my wildlife summit last year. 

“I’m aware that wildlife crime has become core business for some members of the criminal fraternity and I’m pleased to see the actions in place to prevent them from carrying out their activities.”

To find out more about wildlife crime, visit www.derbyshire.police.uk.

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