Ten Wiltshire Police Officers and Community Support Officers attended a Wildlife Crime course last week in Avon and Somerset thanks to funding made available by Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson.
Wildlife Crime Officers investigate or provide investigative advice to Community Police Teams, regarding wildlife crime offences or incidents relating to the poaching, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), equine, badger, raptor and bat persecution and other areas where there is a clear wildlife welfare issue such as protected species.
Amongst the ten officer attending the course was PC Kevin Golledge and PCSO Mark Cook of the Calne and Corsham neighbourhood police teams.
Wiltshire Police say: 'Wildlife crime is a priority for Wiltshire police, and where possible we will seek to bring to justice persons involved in those activities that cause the greatest harm within our more rural communities. This will be done while working in partnership with various agencies and with a pro-active approach to address any wildlife crimes or concerns raised by members of our rural communities.
Wildlife Crime Officers are embedded with Community Police Teams and Neighbourhood Police Teams and will engage with their local communities. They will also work with and assist the Rural Crime Team with proactive operations when possible.'
PCSO Mark Cook say: “It was a great privilege to be selected to attend the wildlife crime course, as numbers are always limited. The training was very informative with various agencies delivering information to us on their roles, and the work they do to combat wildlife crime. The presentation by the UK Board Force was an eye-opener, as it was amazing to see what people will try to smuggle into the country, and the lengths they will go to achieve it.
“The training will allow me to have a better understanding of wildlife Crime and enable me to recognise it within the area I cover attached to the Calne Neighbourhood Policing Team.”