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Dorset PCC and Dorset Police unite with World Animal Protection and Crimestoppers for Wildlife Crime Awareness Week

Dorset PCC and Dorset Police unite with World Animal Protection and Crimestoppers for Wildlife Crime Awareness Week

Dorset PCC and Dorset Police have joined World Animal Protection and Crimestoppers to back Wildlife Crime Awareness Week, to encourage members of the public to familiarise themselves with the signs of wildlife crime and to report any evidence to Crimestoppers anonymously, or to contact the Police on 101.

Crimes against domestic UK wildlife include poaching, badger baiting, hare coursing, bat persecution, poisoning a bird of prey, poaching fresh water mussels or stealing eggs.

Twenty police forces from around the country are also promoting the week within their own Force areas, letting residents know what they are doing to crack down on wildlife crime locally.

Already this year, a number of wildlife criminals have been convicted thanks to the hard work and vigilance of police officers, local Watch schemes and members of the community.

One recent successful prosecution by the Dorset Wildlife Crime Unit included a criminal behaviour order against a man from Poole who was prosecuted for the killing of a wild bird.

Steve Marsh of Dorset Police's Wildlife Crime Unit, said: "Dorset plays host to an abundance of wildlife, some of which, sadly, is subject to cruelty, disturbance and other human threat. The Wildlife Crime Unit aims to reduce wildlife crime and prosecute those responsible for it. The public's assistance is essential as, from their initial observations and reports; we can uncover an array of wildlife crimes taking place. Combating wildlife crime needs effort from everyone and I urge anyone with information about it - however insignificant they feel it is - to call the police on 101.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I am supporting Wildlife Crime Awareness Week as I want to urge the people in Dorset to consciously watch out for signs of crime such as poaching, baiting and trapping across the country, and if you see something suspicious – report it. No matter whether you live in a city or the countryside, get involved and use this week to find out what you can do to help tackle wildlife crime.”

Head of UK Campaigns at World Animal Protection, Alyx Elliott, said: “We know the public adore the wonderful British species like badgers, bats, hares and birds of prey, but they may not be aware of the devastating crime that affects them. This week will empower people to recognise the signs of certain crimes like badger set disturbance, raptor poisoning, hare coursing, or poaching so they can report it to the police or Crimestoppers and help protect our beloved wildlife.”

Ann Scott, Crimestoppers Campaigns Manager, said: “As an independent charity which takes information from the public on crime anonymously Crimestoppers gives the public a voice. Our wildlife doesn’t have a voice, but through YOU they can. Crimestoppers never ask for your name, we don’t take any personal details, we can’t trace your calls, we don’t record our calls and those giving information don’t have to go on to give a statement to police or go to court. It is quick, safe and easy. You may think that your information is insignificant, but it could be that last bit of the jigsaw which police need to uncover a serious crime. Help us stop wildlife crime. Help World Animal Protection protect our wildlife.”

If there is a wildlife crime in progress call 999 or for a non-emergency call 101.

If you want to give information regarding a crime anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Wildlife Crime Awareness Week