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PC John Shaw, Cumbria Constabulary’s dedicated Wildlife Crime Officer, has been named the World Wildlife Fund’s Wildlife Crime Enforcer of the Year.
The national WWF annual award recognises the outstanding work by individual wildlife crime enforcement officers in the UK. The Award is open for all UK wildlife law enforcers from agencies such as police, HM Revenue and Customs, UK Border Agency, Natural England, Countryside Commission for Wales, Animal Health, Scottish Natural Heritage, Environment and Heritage Service for Northern Ireland, and Environment Agency.
PC John Shaw who is based in Keswick, has been with Cumbria Constabulary for 24 years. He became the Force’s Wildlife Crime Coordinator in 2008 which was a part time role he undertook alongside his other duties before becoming the Constabulary’s dedicated Wildlife, Rural and Environmental Officer in April 2010.
He was awarded for his outstanding commitment to detecting wildlife crime and pursuing criminals. Since his appointment, detection rates for recorded wildlife crime have soared by 800 per cent.
Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable Richard Crompton presented the award to PC Shaw during the annual Police and Customs Wildlife Enforcement Conference held at the Barcelo Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. The Award is sponsored by WWF-UK and administered through the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW).
Chief Constable Craig Mackey from Cumbria Constabulary said: “I am really proud of John. I’m so pleased that he has been presented with this award which shows that his hard work is not just recognised by colleagues and communities in Cumbria, but also by some of the nation’s leading wildlife experts.
“Since John took on this role, wildlife crime has become more of a focus for the Constabulary. He has provided training to officers across the county to raise awareness of environmental and wildlife legislation and his enthusiasm and commitment to his role has seen detection rates soar by 800 per cent.”
PC John Shaw said: “I am shocked and delighted to have won this award by doing a job that I love. I am fortunate to live and work in an idyllic county that is filled with beautiful countryside and wildlife. Crimes against nature can be cruel, distressing and often mindless so it is important that it is reported to police and investigated thoroughly.
“I enjoy my job and I am committed, alongside colleagues, to ensuring that anybody who chooses to destroy our beautiful landscape is caught and prosecuted.”
Heather Sohl, senior species policy officer, WWF-UK said: “It is always fantastic to be able to celebrate the amazing achievements of wildlife law enforcement officers that have dedicated so much time and energy to supporting the cause of protecting wildlife.
“We are immensely grateful for the work John does to prevent serious harm to so many species”.