Derbyshire police’s commitment to tackling wildlife crime will be spreading its wings further across the county with the creation of a new role.
The force is looking for a dedicated wildlife co-ordinator, who will work with Derbyshire’s wildlife crime police officers to 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, as well as working with partners such as Natural England and the RSPB.
A poster campaign is also rolling out to highlight the wide variety of wildlife crimes, such as poaching, the import or export of endangered species, bat persecution or killing birds of prey.
These posters aim to raise awareness of the dangers of wildlife crime and the penalties – such as a £5,000 fine and jail term – and urge readers to report suspicious behaviour to police.
They will be placed across the county in a bid to make people more aware of the types of criminality that are having a damaging impact on Derbyshire’s rural environment.
Alan Charles, the county’s police and crime commissioner, 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.”
There are already several wildlife crime officers in the county, spread over Derbyshire’s three policing divisions.
The officers, led by Sgt Darren Belfield, pursue prosecutions against people committing crimes including fishing without a license, uprooting protected plants, badger baiting and poisoning birds of prey.
The wildlife co-ordinator role closes to applicants at midday on Tuesday, 27th May. For more information on the requirements of the role and to apply, visit www.derbyshire.police.uk and head to the ‘Careers’ page.