Last week I blogged about how a coalition of organisations under the umbrella group Wildlife & Countryside LINK was asking Police and Crime Commissioner candidates to prioritise wildlife crime should they be elected on 6th May 2021 (see here).
The role of a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has the potential to be hugely influential as to how local policing operates. The PCC has a number of statutory responsibilities including:
- to secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
- to appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
- to set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
- to set the force budget and determine the precept;
- to contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and
- to bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.
In North Yorkshire, the UK’s undisputed raptor persecution capital, there’s a candidate that should appeal to blog readers in that county – Keith Tordoff (visit Keith’s website here).
Keith has a varied background, including serving for 20 years with West Yorkshire Police, and now runs the sweet shop in Pateley Bridge.
Blog readers may recognise him from the Channel 4 piece last year (6 min video here) about the rampant crimes against birds of prey that continue to be reported across North Yorkshire, including in Pateley Bridge in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its proximity to several notorious driven grouse moors.
Keith was interviewed as one of a number of local businessmen who had put up a reward to find the criminals responsible for laying poisoned baits that killed a buzzard and a local family’s pet dog (see here). It wasn’t the first time he’d stepped up with a reward, either.
As a long-standing and outspoken critic of the raptor killers, Keith has suffered abuse such as eggs being thrown at his shop windows and death threat letters being pushed through his letterbox, but he continues to defy the local grouse moor criminals and has considerable support from other Pateley Bridge residents who are tired of having the town’s reputation tarnished as a raptor persecution hotspot. I have no doubt that if elected, he’d continue that effort right across North Yorkshire.
If you’re a North Yorkshire resident and you want to see police resources continue to be prioritised to help fight wildlife crime, and especially raptor persecution, Keith may be just the candidate you’re looking for on 6th May.