Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles is preparing to host a Wildlife and Rural Crime Summit with a view to tackling offences ranging from cruelty to wild animals and theft from Derbyshire farmers and local businesses.
The Commissioner pledged in his election manifesto to make wildlife and rural crime one of his priorities. He is now organising a conference in South Normanton next month aimed at finding multi-agency solutions to crimes that affect rural communities.
“By holding this event I aim to raise awareness among the police, our partners and the public of the problems and the cruelty that these crimes inflict on our country areas,” he said.
“I want to see a stronger, concerted effort in tackling illegal acts that harm wildlife, our environment and those who are legitimately trying to get on with running their farms and other rural businesses.
The first step towards doing that will be to increase partnership working and establishing more effective methods of gathering and sharing intelligence with the help of the hugely popular FarmWatch and potentially a rural crime network.”
Mr Charles has invited a wide range of associations, groups and partners to present their experiences and knowledge to the conference on 25 September. “I hope that together we can begin to shape solutions to an issue that has a significant, detrimental impact on Derbyshire,” he said.
Crimes affecting rural communities range from badger baiting, persecution of Birds of Prey, trade in endangered birds and animals to illegal hunting with dogs, thefts of farm vehicles and diesel.
Delegates to the event will include the NFU, the RSPCA, RSPB and Birds of Prey Diversionary Project alongside other representatives from different corners of the rural community. They will consider the implications of rural crime, the cost to farming and the links between wildlife crime and organised crime.
The Commissioner is also keen to hear about Derbyshire people’s experiences of wildlife and rural crime beforehand. “I’d like to hear from anyone who has been a victim of or witnessed this type of crime, or if they feel it is a problem. What they tell me can then be used to shape our discussions and the way forward,” he explained.
He asks members of the public to let him know of their experiences by 2 September. They can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him at Police HQ, Butterley Hall, Ripley, DE5 3RS.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 12th August 2013