Wales’ first wildlife and rural crime strategy to be launched
The first Wales-specific strategy to tackle wildlife and rural crime is to be launched at the Royal Welsh Showground today.
Wildlife and rural crime comes in many forms, including the theft of agricultural equipment, livestock offences and the destruction of wildlife and their habitats.
The cost of rural theft alone amounted to £1.3m in 2021.
The joint strategy, between the Welsh Government and Wales’ four police forces, will be key in tackling such offences.
Amongst the objectives of the strategy are:
Working in partnership to reduce crime and protect rural communities and wildlife;
Develop effective networks to share ideas, best practice, and resources;
Improve the knowledge and skills needed to support victims affected by crime in rural areas especially those most vulnerable;
Provide training and opportunities to develop skills in a broad range of wildlife and rural crime issues, maximising use of partner agencies;
Improve data collection and information sharing among partners and enforcement agencies;
Use technology and innovation to protect rural communities and wildlife.
The strategy has been tailored to Wales’ specific needs and will target six priority areas – Bird Crime; Farm Crime; Habitats; Mammals and European Protected Species; Welsh Police Rural Supervisors; and Mental Health and Domestic Abuse.
Rob Taylor, who was was appointed Wales’ Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator in 2021 and will lead on establishing the strategy said: “Rural and wildlife crime can have a devastating impact, affecting rural communities, farmers, wildlife as well as habitats and our heritage.
“The launch of this first ever made-in-Wales strategy to integrate rural and wildlife crime, will be vital in bringing Welsh Government, police forces and partners together alongside my role as coordinator to tackle such offences.”
“The strategy has clear aims including supporting mental health in our rural communities and addressing domestic abuse.
“We will follow the 4P plan to achieve success – prepare, prevent, pursue and protect. This means preparing for when such crimes might occur, preventing and deterring people from engaging in these offences, relentlessly pursue offenders and protect rural communities and wildlife from the impact of crime.”
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “The launch of this strategy is a big step forward in tackling rural and wildlife crime in Wales. A key theme of this is partnership working and only by working together towards our common goal can we succeed.
“The strategy sets out a clear vision for Wales which is tailored to our country’s needs and with the Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator
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