Training the Dorset Police Rural Crime Unit
Last week the Badger Trust and Naturewatch Foundation teamed up to provide a badger persecution training course to the Dorset Police Rural Crimes Unit. Badger Trust Chief Executive Dominic Dyer and Jennie Rudd, Campaigns Director with Naturewatch Foundation, joined the wildlife crime officers from the Dorset Constabulary to open the training course at Police headquarters in Dorchester.
The Dorset training course is just one of a number being run across the country by Badger Trust with funding support from Naturewatch Foundation. The course was taught by Craig Fellowes, a former police wildlife crime officer, who is now working as a specialist trainer for the Badger Trust.
In his opening statement, Dominic Dyer told police officers that the badger is one of the most protected yet persecuted wild animals in Britain today. On almost a daily basis badgers are illegally persecuted by individuals from across all walks of society from badger baiters, to building developers, hunt masters and farmers.
The training course provided police officers with a valuable insight into the ecology and behavior of badgers, the legislation, and law concerning their protection and the various forms of persecution of the species.
"Last Wednesday’s badger persecution training course at the Dorset Police Headquarters was very well received. I'd like to thank Dorset Police for attending, their commitment to tackling badger crime is evident, with huge enthusiasm throughout the day. Collaboration between the police and animal protection organisations is an essential element of fighting badger persecution, and I am therefore delighted to be joining the Badger Trust later this month to deliver more training to police forces in regions identified as having higher numbers of potential persecution incidents." Jennie Rudd, Campaign Director, Naturewatch Foundation.
Police officers received valuable hands on experience with a field trip to a local farm where the officers were given the opportunity to see a badger sett and gather evidence which could be used in court to prove the existence of an active sett.
PC Claire Dinsdale, deputy lead for wildlife crime, said: “Badger crimes can be some of the worst cruelty cases police and other agencies deal with. Badger persecution does happen in Dorset, and it is important we equip our officers with the latest training to catch the perpetrators committing these callous offences. I would like to thank the Badger Trust, Naturewatch Foundation and the local farming community for their support in delivering this training and raising awareness of wildlife crime."