Police Team Tackle Wildlife Crime

10 May 2013, 12:41 | Updated: 10 May 2013, 12:45

An innovative new police team is supporting the fight against wildlife crime.

The Beds, Cambs and Herts Scientific Services Unit has launched a dedicated ‘Specialist Services Cadre’ to give expert assistance to Environmental Crime Officers working across the three counties by offering the same sort of forensic expertise and evidence gathering capabilities that are usually associated with major and organised crime investigations.

Kam Dhillon, Head of the Cadre, who in 2009 was awarded an MBE for services to policing, said the team has already been busy. “We have already provided specialist support to a range of policing operations. Wildlife and rural crime is of particular concern to the public and this team reflects our determination to deal with the issue.”

The dedicated team is just the latest in a series of initiatives by the BCH Scientific Services Unit to support the fight against wildlife crime. It is represented on a Forensic Working Group which is part of a multi-agency body called Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW).

PAW draws representatives from organisations involved in wildlife law enforcement in the UK and provides opportunities for statutory and non-Government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime. In conjunction with PAW the tri-force Scientific Service Unit has been supporting the development and supply of Wildlife Crime DNA kits. They have been provided worldwide to assist in evidence collection.

Kate Ramsey, who chairs the Forensic Working Group, said: “Beds, Cambs and Herts Scientific Services has provided very real support to PAW in the delivery of the wildlife crime DNA kits. The contribution of expertise, time and materials has resulted in the delivery of this simple and effective kit for use by others in the fight against wildlife crime. This is a clear example of the benefits that come from partnership working to tackle common issues.”

Dick Johnson, Head of Scientific Services, said: “We are very proud of our involvement with PAW and in the development of these kits which have been provided nationally and internationally to assist in evidence collection and are likely to be used in some of the most isolated parts of the world.”