Leicestershire Police welcomes 18 new wildlife crime officers

Press release from Leicestershire Police (14th April 2021):

Leicestershire Police welcomes new wildlife officers

Rural communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will now benefit from a number of wildlife related officers within their areas.

All 18 officers have recently undertaken a five-day wildlife training course to gain a better understanding of rural issues and laws.

[Some of the new wildlife crime officers. Photo from Leicestershire Police]

Wildlife crime includes hare coursing, poaching and interfering with protected species such as badgers.

Traditionally, rural crime has been under represented due to the lack of understanding around wildlife crime and issues that may arise. With the introduction of 18 specially trained officers, it will encourage better working relationships between the communities and the police, as well as helping other neighbourhood officers understand rural crime issues.

PC James Johnson has worked for Leicestershire Police for seven and a half years and has recently taken on the role as a wildlife officer alongside his day-to-day duties as a beat officer.

He said: “This is something that has always been close to my heart. My great-grandparents had a farm that was passed down the family. My dad grew up on a farm and I have also married into a farming family, so it’s always something that has been in my life.

It’s an issue that’s very personal to me and I look forward to giving something back to the community and providing a good service from the force.”

PC Jon Barlow is another officer to join the wildlife team. He said: “For the past three years I have been the local beat officer for a rural beat, so this new role brings a number of great challenges investigating these kinds of incidents and working with the community.”

Sergeant Peter Jelbert, said: “Leicestershire and Rutland are very rural counties, so to be able to learn and refresh our knowledge of legislation which has an effect on our rural communities, will be a real bonus.

The greatest positive will be to our rural communities and to other partnerships such as the RSCPA.”

For more information on rural crime visit the force’s rural crime pages.

ENDS

7 thoughts on “Leicestershire Police welcomes 18 new wildlife crime officers”

  1. Leicestershire police have consistently been one of the worst police forces in regards to hunting with hounds. The have proven links with pro hunt groups and several officers are recorded as being members of or allied with local hunts and advise them in methods of circumnavigating the laws. They have also acted against sabs maliciously in an effort to remove them.

    1. Yes, there is the strong potential that these are publicly funded hunt security staff.
      However, to give them the benefit of the doubt, the hunt sabs should offer free training so that they have at least a grounding in being able to spot a crime while it’s happening.

  2. Not clear if these people are just ‘trained’ and wont necessarily be full time wildlife officers. Unless dedicated to wildlife crime only this looks more like a PR exercise (and possibly a little extra pay in their back pockets).

  3. How many of them ride with the local hunts? This is one of the worst police forces in the country for failing to deal with wildlife crime: constantly hounding hunt monitors and standing back and letting the hunt thugs get away with assault, theft, criminal damage, traffic offences and public order offences.

  4. Wasn’t your ‘gentlemanly” friend, Duncan Thomas a Wildlife Crime Officer once? For Lancashire Constabulary?
    NB the 3rd and 4th words are sarcasm!

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