What is a Police and Crime Commissioner and what can they do for wildlife?

This is a year of elections – including the much-anticipated general election. We may not yet know exactly when it will be, but in the meantime, we do know that next month voters across England and Wales will be asked to elect the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for their area, a crucial role that impacts the policing of wildlife crime.

But what is a Police and Crime Commissioner?

PCCs are responsible for setting policing priorities and holding the police to account. As an elected representative, they hold a responsibility to engage with the public and ensure that police focus on priorities that matter to the local communities they represent. They do this through a Police and Crime Plan which influences crime prevention priorities and issues such as resource allocation to areas including rural crime teams.

In short, the elections being held on May 2 are your opportunity to influence policing priorities including how wildlife crime such as illegal fox, stag and hare hunting is dealt with.

To help you do this, we’ve made it easy for you to write to the candidates in your area today to urge them to make hunting with dogs and other wildlife crime a priority in their Police and Crime Plan if they are elected.

Write To Them

Illegal hunting is still common practice. I know it. You know it. The public know it and the hunts know it” – those are the words of Matt Longman, National Police Chiefs Council’s lead on fox hunting crime.

Awareness among the police that illegal hunting continues, often under the false pretence of ‘trail hunting’, is higher than it ever has been before. A large part of ending hunting with dogs will be ensuring that the law is strengthened – but it’s also vital that police have the necessary resources, expertise and, importantly, the encouragement and direction of senior leadership to see through the smokescreen of trail hunting and enforce the current law to the best of their ability.

That is why these elections matter. PCCs set policing priorities and influence resource allocation. A PCC who recognises the negative impact hunts can have on rural communities can ensure that police are in the best position possible to tackle not only wildlife crime including illegal hunting, but also the havoc hunts leave in their wake.

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So, what can you do to help?

Part of the role of PCC is to ensure that policing priorities meet the needs of the communities they represent – and that includes you. As a voter with the power to influence who wins the vote, your voice will be particularly important during the election. Write to the candidates in your area today. Help to ensure that they understand your priorities including the enforcement of wildlife crime such as illegal hunting.

Write To Them

You can be the voice for animals on May 2 – ensure that your voice is heard by taking action today.

P.S. Remember, this year you will need valid photo ID to vote. You can find out what ID is accepted here.

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