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Police mark World Wildlife Day with call for community support

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North Yorkshire Police are urging members of the community to mark World Wildlife Day by joining us in the fight against wildlife crime.

World Wildlife Day is celebrated every year on 3 March by the United Nations. This year’s theme is: “It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime”.

North Yorkshire Police has 16 specially trained Wildlife Crime Officers, who, along with their normal duties, investigate crimes against wildlife. They will either assist other police officers or take the lead role in the investigation of more intricate cases, and can also offer training and advice to colleagues.

They also give talks to local schools and community groups, support local schemes such as Farmwatch and Rural Watch, and provide advice to the public alongside other organisations at countryside events like the Great Yorkshire Show.

Already this year, a number of wildlife criminals have been convicted thanks to the vigilance of local Watch schemes and members of the community – including a hare courser in Melsonby and poachers in East Cowton.

Sergeant Martin McLachlan, who holds the portfolio for wildlife crime at North Yorkshire Police, said: “We take all reports of wildlife crime extremely seriously, and World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to highlight our commitment to tackling this criminality.

“We are also very grateful to local Watch scheme volunteers for their support, and I would urge anyone who wants to join us in the fight against countryside crime to get in touch.”

Residents in rural areas are invited to support the police by joining a Watch scheme. For more information about schemes in your area, call 101, select option 2, and ask for your local police station.

PC John Wilbor, Wildlife Crime Officer for the Richmond Rural area, was named Wildlife Enforcer of the Year by the WWF in 2013. At the time, Heather Sohl, chief advisor on species at WWF UK, said: “WWF is hugely grateful to enforcement officers who dedicate so much time and energy to combating wildlife crime. John’s community engagement work is truly impressive and I hope others are inspired to tackle wildlife crime in the same way. We need officers like John to galvanise community support in the fight against wildlife crime.”

In a statement issued to mark this year’s World Wildlife Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “On this World Wildlife Day, I urge all consumers, suppliers and governments to treat crimes against wildlife as a threat to our sustainable future. It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime.”


Last modified: June 13, 2018