Some of us get to vote a week today

These 2 kites were found dead, they were later found to have been poisoned. One of these kites was a female which had produced young for the previous 4 years.
These 2 kites were found dead, they were later found to have been poisoned. One of these kites was a female which had produced young for the previous 4 years.

If you live in England and Wales, but not in London or Greater Manchester, you will have the chance to vote for your police and crime commissioner a week today.

P&CCs are charged with ensuring effective and efficient policing of a police area.  Wildlife crime is part of that role – certainly not the most important part, but a part. So maybe you ought to ask your candidates what they are going to do about wildlife crime if they are elected. I won’t do this because, quite honestly, wildlife crime is not a very big issue (though clearly any crime is too much) in Northamptonshire. But if I lived in the uplands of England, and in the following police regions, then I certainly would raise it as an issue with the various candidates:

You can use this link to find the candidates in your area, and in many cases you can find the email address of the candidates through these links. Some candidates (often Conservatives) make a point of mentioning rural crime and its impact on tourism.  It might be worth telling your candidates that rural crime includes wildlife crime and wildlife crime can put people off visiting National Parks, AONBs etc if they are devoid of nature (apart from ridiculously large numbers of Red Grouse and Pheasants).

The lack of Red Kites in the northeast, as set out in this Guest Blog last week, the death of Bowland Betty in the Yorkshire Dales, the lack of Peregrine Falcons over much of the uplands of the north of England, the raptor persecution hot-spot that is the Dark Peak in the Peak District National Park, the disappearance of Hen Harriers in the Forest of Bowland last year (and every year) are all things that could be brought to the attention of your candidates for P&CC.

Good luck! If you get any especially good responses then let me know, please, and we can spread the word here.

And as a footnote, just a ‘Thank you!’ to Alan Charles, the retiring P&CC for Derbyshire who really has been a champion for combatting wildlife crime in Derbyshire (see here).





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6 Replies to “Some of us get to vote a week today”

  1. So far I've received one reply to my question to all four of the North Yorkshire PCC candidates.
    I asked what their stance is on wildlife crime, particularly the persecution of raptors.
    This reply is from the current North Yorkshire PCC, Julia Mulligan;
    "Thanks Andy for your question; we've some award winning wildlife crime officers in North Yorkshire but I do recognise that there are certain areas where people feel this is not taken seriously enough. I don't take sides on issues - it's important that the police deal with incidents according to the law and that definitely includes wildlife crime. You may also be interested to know that I helped set up and chair something called the National Rural Crime Network - we've had the national wildlife crime unit present to us and our members (31 PCCs) take the issue very seriously."

      1. Not a bad esponse from Julia but not exactly an exciting one.
        One of the candidates, Mike Pannett, has had a previous role as Wildlife Officer.
        This is his profile;

        Mike Pannett is an Independent PCC Candidate for North Yorkshire. Mike Pannett was born in York, and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1988. He became one of the youngest officers to be given his own patch, and served on the Divisional Crime Squad, Murder Squad and TSG (Riot Police).He transferred to North Yorkshire police in 1997 as he missed the countryside – and fly fishing! He became a rural beat officer and eventually, a wildlife officer. In 2005 he starred in the BBC’s Country Cops and was inspired to write about his adventures in the North Yorks force.Mike served nearly twenty years in the police, during which he became one of the highest commended officers. He lives with his wife Ann, and their three children in a small village in the shadow of the North Yorkshire moors.

        Reading that I think that Mike will be the candidate to vote for if one is at all interested in our natural heritage. I will post his reply.

        1. My message to Mike Pannett...

          I have been reading the profiles of each candidate for the North Yorkshire PCC.
          I see that you have been a wildlife officer in your previous employment and that alone would sway my vote towards you.
          My question to the other three candidates has been;
          What is your stance on wildlife crime, particularly the persistent persecution of raptors on our regions grouse moors?
          Mark Avery’s book “Inglorious” has opened many minds to the problem of raptor persecution.
          His blog is worth reading… Standing Up For Nature
          Now I imagine that you will be well aware of this type of crime so I would hope that you could be the person with some clout on the subject.
          I hope that your response can be shared amongst fellow wildlife protectors.

          Mike’s reply;

          Hi Andy – In a nutshell

          You’re right – loads of work to be done on the wildlife crime. One of the things I’ll look to do is form a working group on this very subject.

          We have (NYP) almost completely withdrawn from our rural communities and in turn lost the ‘golden thread’ on intelligence.
          I’m all too aware of the wildlife crime issues, and what’s required to maintain the balance.

          I worked hard behind the scenes to safeguard the national wildlife crime unit recently – vital. My role will be to safeguard my rural communities and its wildlife.

          Mike Pannett

          On the back of his reply I have decided to vote for Mike.
          Of the other three candidates; the present PCC, Julia Mulligan isn’t showing any progress on raptor persecution, but at least she replied to me. There was no mention of wildlife crime on Julia’s profile.
          The other two, James Blanchard and Stephen Howley haven’t replied, neither mention wildlife crime on their profiles.

  2. To date I have had a response from only the incumbent PCC for Northumbria. The other candidates have not yet responded.
    Vera Baird gave a fairly lengthy reply which at least acknowledged the problem and assured that all reports of persecution of wildlife are investigated (whilst acknowledging that this investigation is generally inconclusive). She concluded 'Please be assured that Wildlife Crime will continue to be on my agenda as Police & Crime Commissioner, I will ensure this matter is regular discussion item when I meet with the Chief Constable.'

  3. I got a couple of responses -


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