NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Police officers working in the north of the county are to get a greater insight into the work of gamekeepers.
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) is hosting a free course, designed especially for police officers and entitled ‘Gamekeeping and the Law’, at the Welbeck Estate today (Tuesday 5th July).
The course, which arose from a meeting between the NGO and the Association of Chief Police Officers, describes in detail what gamekeepers do, and looks at the legality of activities such as trapping, shooting and poaching, as well as discussing the issue of rural crime in general.
The aim of the course, which has been run in a number of police force areas in England and Wales, is to show how gamekeepers and the police can work together to help one another.
NGO chairman Lindsay Waddell said: “We are doing this for gamekeeping and for the whole rural community.
“The police want to do their best, but with staff cutbacks and many officers having no background in the countryside there have been bad misunderstandings in the recent past and sometimes wrongful arrests, although not in Nottinghamshire.
”The obvious thing is to explain to the police what gamekeepers do, what the law says and how we can help each other.
“This is an expensive initiative for the NGO to undertake but what could be more important than reducing rural crime and securing support from the police for gamekeeping and the shooting community?”
PC Jason Crofts, based at Worksop Police Station, said: “Bassetlaw is a large and predominantly rural area to police, so the issues that this course will explore are relevant to the work that many of us do in this part of the county.
”Gamekeepers can provide valuable information about the activity that goes on in some of the more remote parts of our community, both in terms of intelligence and advice, and that’s what we hope to take away from this course.”
“We’ll also be joined on the course by colleagues from the Derbyshire and Humberside forces, as well as from the British Transport Police. That is important because we work closely with our colleagues in neighbouring forces to prevent and detect crime committed by offenders who cross our county borders.”