The first ever all-Wales Wildlife and Rural Crime Coordinator, Rob Taylor, has outlined his priorities after being appointed to the position.
The role is the first of its kind in the UK, and has been created by the Welsh Government, along with Wales’ police forces, to strengthen the response to Wildlife and Rural Crime across the country.
“Policing our countryside and protecting our wildlife is something that I am passionate about,” said Mr Taylor.
“Wales has seen significant progress in regards to rural crime prevention, but we still have work to do in regards to offences such as livestock attacks and wildlife offences.
“I relish the opportunity I have been given and look forward to working closely with others and to making a positive difference here in Wales.”
Mr Taylor, who was responsible for establishing the current North Wales Police Rural Crime Team, brings a vast amount of experience to the role, in particular in regards to wildlife law.
His investigations include the chainsaw attack on the Ospreys nesting platform at Llyn Brenig in May.
During a visit to the Dyfi Osprey Project near Machynlleth, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths met Rob Taylor to discuss his priorities and ambitions.
The project’s new visitor centre, which opened in May, has been supported with £250,000 in Welsh Government funding.
The new post is important in coordinating the wildlife and rural work of the police and key partner agencies to reduce crime and its impact on rural communities across Wales.
Livestock offences, raptor persecution, fly-tipping as well as farm machine, vehicle and fuel theft are some of the main areas the coordinator will be tackling.
The Welsh Government is currently working with the UK Government to give new powers to the police to provide greater protection to livestock from dangerous and out of control dogs through the Kept Animals Bill.
Mr Taylor has been pivotal in providing advice in this matter.
The coordinator will also lead on Wales’ first Wildlife and Rural Crime Strategy and work with school officers to help children get a better understanding of what wildlife and rural crime is and how it affects communities.