‘Inadequate’ force cops walk away on wildlife training day
Paul Hodgkinson, the Leader of the Opposition in Gloucestershire County Council, told the Telegraph on Sunday: ‘I would question the validity of doing this given that the police force has been put in place in special measures and that the lens should really focus on the big picture, including burglaries and personal assaults.
The Lib Dem councilor for Bourton-on-the-water and Northleach in the Cotswolds added: ‘My constituents are certainly raising burglaries with me, particularly in rural Gloucestershire, and I have seen a slight increase, actually very close to me was the one that involved violence against the person that really shook people up.
“As far as I know, the police did not arrest them.”
A Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman said: ‘Hundreds of wildlife and rural crime incidents are reported to us every year, including a number of cases where swans and other animals have walked on public roads and constitute a danger.
“This short course was attended by a small number of Neighborhood Officers who also act as specialists in wildlife and rural issues so that they can quickly resolve such incidents.
“This does not affect our response to crimes such as sexual assault or our focus on improving our performance in light of our recent HMICFRS PEEL report.
“As well as recruiting additional staff for our Force Control Room and Crime Standards Office, we are also currently recruiting seven additional police investigators for our Public Protection Unit to improve the way we investigate crimes. crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.”
Nick Evans, Gloucestershire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “While this may sound like something out of Hot Fuzz, it’s important to keep this in perspective. Gloucestershire is a rural county and officers are often called upon to deal with birds causing danger to road users.”
While rural crime has no definition, rural police officers tend to deal with organized crime groups (OCGs) that target and exploit rural communities, the Neighborhood Watch website says.