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Officers take to Twitter in fight against wildlife crime

Officers take to Twitter in fight against wildlife crime

Published at 7:35am 19th October 2015. (Updated at 3:40pm 20th October 2015)

North Yorkshire Police is urging members of the public to join officers in supporting Wildlife Crime Awareness Week.

The campaign is seen as an opportunity for people to get involved in the fight against wildlife crime, by raising awareness online and by acting as the 'eyes and ears' of the police, particularly in rural areas.

Police are also marking the week by launching a dedicated wildlife crime Twitter account - the first of its kind in the region.

The North Yorkshire force has 16 specially trained Wildlife Crime Officers who either assist other police officers or take the lead role in the investigation of more intricate cases, and can also offer training and advice to colleagues.

They also give talks to local schools and community groups, support local schemes such as Farmwatch and Rural Watch, and provide advice to the public alongside other organisations at countryside events like the Great Yorkshire Show.

The new Twitter account, @NYPWCOS, has already been used to share information and warnings about illegal traps, poaching offences and badger persecution.

Inspector Vicky Taylor said: "We take all reports of wildlife crime extremely seriously, and Wildlife Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity to highlight our commitment to tackling this criminality.

"Particularly in rural areas, members of the public and local Watch scheme volunteers provide valuable support, often acting as the 'eyes and ears' of the police, and I would urge anyone who wants to join us in the fight against countryside crime to get in touch by calling 101."

The Twitter account is run by PC Gareth Jones, Ripon Rural Beat Manager and Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator.

He said: "Wildlife crime is cruel and illegal. However, people may not always report it because they don’t know what to spot or what constitutes a crime.

"Wildlife Crime Awareness Week and our new Twitter account is all about educating members of the public about wildlife crime, as well as asking people to come forward and report any suspicious activity to the police."

For advice and guidance about wildlife crime, go to www.northyorkshire.police.uk/wildlifecrime