The Welsh Government have recently funded a 12 month trial of a brand new wildlife crime post within Wales.
The new Wales Rural & Wildlife Crime Coordinator has been given to experienced wildlife investigator and former North Wales Police Rural Crime Team manager, Rob Taylor. We recently met with Rob, to express our concerns regarding wildlife crime in South and West Wales and we're looking forward to working together in the future.
Many will know Rob, who has been the manager of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team since 2013 and has had an ever present footprint on social media and in the press.
He has presented many times throughout Wales and at the National UK Wildlife Conference on wildlife investigations and has been the recipient of 4 WWF Wildlife awards, including the prestigious ‘Life time achievement’ award. In 2016 he was honoured in the Queens Birthday honours list with a Queens Police Medal (QPM) for his wildlife work.
The new post will bring together work and strategies in relation to many areas of wildlife crime with the aim of improving investigations and ultimately reducing wildlife crime overall in Wales.
On taking up the post, Rob said:
Our work over the years has seen wildlife offence reports in North Wales drop by over 85% and I am optimistic I can bring those results to the whole of Wales.
This is about bringing together a number of key people, with various skills, to tackle the problems we have here in Wales and already we have set up a number of strategic groups, such as the Welsh Bird Crime Enforcement Group and others will follow.
The appointment, which is the first of its type in the UK, will look at wildlife issues at all levels which can be sometimes unique to Wales but he will also assist by working closely with others throughout the UK.
This isn’t only about Wales, but seeing what is best practice throughout the UK and I have already joined most Wildlife UK PDGs with the aim of learning those practices.
I am keen to work closer with the Wildlife Trust to gain a greater understanding of your fantastic work here in Wales and to see how I can help in anyway.
I already have the offer of free labour via the Probation Service community hours scheme, which I would like to see being used at our nature reserves to assist in anyway with repairs or ground work.
Rob plans to visit a number of reserves within Wales in the next few months to see first-hand the ongoing work.
If you would like him to visit please contact him direct via Twitter @rural_wales, where he posts regular updates on his wildlife work.