New police wildlife crime team for East Yorkshire

Press release from Humberside Police (9th February 2021)

Rural Task Force – East Riding of Yorkshire

Protecting our rural communities, wildlife and heritage

Humberside Police have set up a new dedicated unit focusing on tackling rural, wildlife and heritage crimes within the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The Rural Task Force will be based at Driffield Police Station, ideally placed within the ‘Capital of the Wolds’ and will consist of four police constables and one sergeant.

The team will be targeting those who chose to commit crime within our rural communities.

The Inspector leading the Rural Task Force is Neighbourhood Police Inspector Jon Powell, he said, “Over the years Humberside Police have worked tirelessly to tackle rural crime and help to make our rural communities feel safer.  This new team will focus on disruption of criminal activities, apprehension, arrest, charging and prosecution of offenders.

“All with the aim of deterring others from committing similar offences.  This will send out a clear message that rural, wildlife and heritage crime will not be tolerated.

“The team will be building on existing relationships with local rural communities, groups and businesses which will develop and support them in tackling crimes that affect them most.”

The Rural Task Force will continue the pro-active work already undertaken by our community teams who are targeting hare coursing and poaching, marine wildlife disturbance, raptor persecution as well as offences around hunting with dogs, badger baiting and heritage crime.

There is also a focus on supporting and co-ordinating disruption around plant and agricultural theft and associated crimes.

The Rural Task Force will be working in partnership with Humberside Fire and Rescue utilising the latest drone technology to achieve best evidence of hunting and poaching offences, and also East Riding of Yorkshire Council with further enforcement opportunities around Community Protection Warnings and Notices for those who commit wildlife crime within our area.

A close working relationship has already been established with neighbouring forces and the Rural Task Force intend to continue this with increased sharing of intelligence and information to target those who travel across the border to commit offences.

On Wednesday 27 January 2021 the team worked alongside North Yorkshire Rural Task Force in a joint cross border night time operation targeting night time poaching and acquisitive crime within the rural communities of Humberside and Ryedale setting a clear intent of partnership working from day one.


This is very welcome news. Humberside sees its fair share of illegal raptor persecution so it’ll be good to have one dedicated team instead of a number of them working ad hoc.

For more info on the new rural task force see here and scroll to the bottom.

10 thoughts on “New police wildlife crime team for East Yorkshire”

  1. Excellent news, criminals don’t recognise administrative boundaries so let’s hope this new team are able to operate across the rural landscape of the Humberhead Levels.

    The hare coursers, badger diggers, deer poachers are good at using such knowledge to their advantage. Likewise those targeting machinery and equipment.

    Here’s to communication and collaboration across the various agencies and authorities.

  2. “The hare coursers, badger diggers, deer poachers are good at using such knowledge to their advantage. Likewise those targeting machinery and equipment.” If the police show they can get to grips with those crimes, perhaps the message about raptor killing being a crime will get through to the prepetrators? Good luck.

  3. The cynic in me says that crimes against some heritage (the right to persecute and kill wildlife in the name of field sports and game birds) will over-ride the other stuff. Because it also protects a particular image of rural communties.

    I’d like to be proved wrong by successful prosecutions across the board.

  4. The team’s remit is very broad. Theft of agricultural plant and transport is rife. I suspect that could consume a lot of police time.

    “This new team will focus on disruption of criminal activities, apprehension, arrest, charging and prosecution of offenders.”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Judge ENTIRELY on results. Fingers crossed.

  5. Good luck to them, I think there will always plenty of work for police in rural areas. The problem is that to slam down hard on the lampers, badger diggers & quad bike thieves, etc they will have to form a good working relationship with the big Estates and their keepers. And a proportion* of those keepers will inevitably be the so called “bad apples” that the police should be very cautious about believing in at face value. *the proportion will vary according to the location, I am not commenting on this area specifically.

    1. Some estates will have cause to be wary about having close relationships with the police.

      Police call to investigate one problem and who knows what else they may notice .. nudge – nudge … 🦉

      1. Hi Dougie, You might be right – I do hope so. It will all depend on Officers being sharp-eyed when out and about – and not to care what some people say about them. Knowing and perhaps being trained in the little things to look for…i.e. Why do the Buzzards in valley ‘x’ always have chunks of primary feathers missing? Why is ‘x’ Estate setting Crow cage traps in July? Are all those squashed Rabbits on the tiny back roads where I have seen a Red Kite really all genuine roadkill? And on, and on…

  6. Provided they focus on all types of wildlife crime this is good news. The concern is that cracking down on badger baiting and hare coursing, whilst entirely right and valuable, will be used to mask the failure to deal with the fox hunters and raptor killers.

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