Force Wildlife Officer
Neil Hughes is the Force Wildlife Officer. He began working as a wildlife officer in 1991 and, following retirement, he has continued to work in this role as a Special Constable.
The law in respect of animals and the countryside can be very complicated and is not something a regular police officer would normally have knowledge of, or be expected to deal with. For this reason many Forces have a police officer dedicated entirely to dealing with breaches of the wildlife law.
Neil is based at Melton local policing unit and deals with all kinds of crimes against local wildlife. Through his work he aims to protect the environment and ensure the safety of animals and plants in the county.
The kinds of incidents he deals with can range from the use of illegal traps and pesticide or poisoning problems to offences on protected sites and endangered species. Crimes against wildlife also include deer and game poaching, badger baiting, egg collecting and the removal of wild plants from their natural habitat.
Neil liases regularly with local organisations and wildlife groups including the RSPCA, RSPB, Department of the Environment and Traffic International. The role also involves working directly with local councils to discuss issues such as planning applications, zoo licences and dangerous wild animal licences.