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Police Wildlife Liaison Officers (WLOs)

Police Wildlife Liaison Officers are officers who have a professional interest in the prevention and detection of wildlife crime.

Generally, they work in close association with other organisations such as the RSPCA, RSPB, WWF, English Nature, Environment Agency, Local Wildlife Trusts and many Badger Groups, in the investigation and prosecution of offenders.

In the early days of WLOs, officers tended to concentrate solely on wildlife crime, but more experience has shown that this is often too short-term a view.

One WLO has publicly stated that, in his region, every single suspect for badger baiting, also has a criminal record for violent crime, or other serious offences. Accordingly, WLOs are increasingly finding that keeping tags on suspected badger baiters; gives other highly beneficial results, such as reductions in crimes of violence (including domestic violence), drugs, burglary, theft and money laundering.

They are also increasingly aware of and using modern high-tech evidence gathering techniques like DNA analysis. Now, for example, it is possible to prove that a single badger-hair in a suspects vehicle or on their clothing came from a particular individual badger. In terms of the scientific rigour of this, this is as damning as a fingerprint.

An Adobe Acrobat PDF file which lists most of the UKs WLOS is available to download below:

This document has been provided by PAWs - an organisation which is involved in trying to deter, detect and solve wildlife crimes.

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