A SPECIALIST training course which saw Lancashire’s officers join forces with their neighbours to tackle wildlife crime has been praised by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Lancashire Constabulary and Cumbria police joined forces to deliver specialist training to 30 Wildlife Crime Officers from both forces at Lancashire’s Hutton headquarters, with support from the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NCWU).
Clive Grunshaw has made tackling rural crime issues a priority in his Police and Crime Plan, and was delighted to see the two North West forces working in partnership to take this commitment forward.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Tackling rural crime is an important part of policing in Lancashire, and presents issues – such as wildlife crime – which require a specialised response.
“I am delighted that Lancashire and Cumbria Constabularies have been able to make best use of their resources by joining forces for this training, which will ensure the county’s officers can efficiently and effectively deal with reports of wildlife crime. I hope this training will enhance the service to our rural communities.
“Partnership work is incredibly important if we are to maintain the resilience of policing in the county in the face of continuing Government cuts. Pooling resources gets the best value for money for Lancashire’s residents.”
Lancashire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said the force was committed to developing more watch and patrol schemes in the county’s rural communities.
He said: “Crime in rural communities is very low in Lancashire, and to keep it that way, Lancashire Constabulary is prioritising rural policing issues.
“Alongside our key partners, we want to develop more watch and patrol schemes to work alongside our Neighbourhood officers in rural communities. I am also keen to offer more information to residents about rural crime, and to support more activity to prevent crime in rural areas.
“Engaging with residents and community groups is a real opportunity for us and we want to further our profile to support this valuable work in Lancashire.”
During the week-long course, the officers received specialist training on a range of wildlife topics including ‘Illegal Trade in Endangered Species’, ‘Badgers’, ‘Birds and the Law’, ‘Poaching and Traps’, ‘Poisons and Pesticides’, ‘Hunting and ‘European Protected Species’.
Representatives from Natural England, the Environment Agency, and the RSPCA, as well as NCWU, were among those who were involved in the course.