A NEW officer has been appointed to supervise investigations into wildlife crime across the county.
Mark Thomas will oversee wildlife issues for Lancashire Constabulary and will be based at the force’s headquarters in Hutton.
Mark, 37, has worked with the constabulary for 10 years, having moved to his new position from a civilian role in the counter terrorism unit.
Mark said: “I come from a rural background of farming and gamekeeping, so wildlife issues have always been close to my heart.= “I know that my new role will be quite a demanding challenge, but I think that it will be a very rewarding one.
“I am looking forward to working with fellow officers and the community to help fight wildlife crime in Lancashire.”
Mark takes over from PC Duncan Thomas, who has been the constabulary’s wildlife lead for the past six years. PC Thomas will now work as a response officer in Longridge, but will continue to advise on wildlife issues in the Bowland area.
PC Thomas said: “I would like to thank all the farmers, gamekeepers, wildlife wardens and residents who have given me phenomenal help with preventing and investigating wildlife crime.
“Their ongoing support will enable Lancashire Constabulary to continue bringing offenders to justice.”
Issues that are investigated by the wildlife officer include poaching, badger digging, dog fighting, nest site disturbance, the maintenance of sensitive animal and bird breeding projects, plant thefts and the consequent associated crimes such as burglary, trespassing and theft.
The move to civilianise the wildlife officer’s post was taken as part of the constabulary’s review of its services.