The announcement by Welsh Government Minister of Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, that a dedicated all-Wales Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator role will be established, has been welcomed by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
In her announcement, the Minister agreed to provide funding for the 12 month pilot role and has written to the Chief Constables of the 4 Welsh police forces and the Police and Crime Commissioners seeking their cooperation and support to appoint an all-Wales Rural and Wildlife Crime Coordinator.
Responding to the news, FUW Deputy President Ian Rickman said: “This is good news for our rural and farming communities who continue to suffer the effects of rural and wildlife crime. At a recent livestock worrying webinar, hosted by the FUW and Wales YFC, we heard first hand about the challenges our police forces face in order to deal with such crimes effectively and the devastating impact such crimes have on our farmers.”
Mr Rickman added that whilst police forces in Wales have made great progress over the years and the North Wales rural crime team have provided a blueprint for excellence, a Wales wide effort in tackling rural crime should not be delayed.
“Rural and wildlife crime costs the industry dearly every year - financially and emotionally. We must learn the lessons from those police forces who have already made great strides in tackling rural and wildlife crime and adopting an all Wales approach will go a long way in effectively tackling the issues police forces deal with on a force by force basis,” he said.