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Yorkshire Farmwatch initiative wins national award for fight against wildlife crime

1 March 2012

An East Yorkshire initiative has won a national award for its efforts in combating rising crimes against wildlife.

Driffield Farmwatch has been awarded Partner of the Year by the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW).

The award was presented to Gordon Calvert who has been instrumental in resurrecting Driffield Farmwatch in the Humberside Policing area at a ceremony today (1 March 2012) at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Driffield Farmwatch, which currently has over 160 members, was praised for its work over the last five years in combating incidents of poaching and associated criminal activity across the region and raising awareness of rural crime amongst the enforcement authorities and countryside community.

Tribute was paid to the groups many achievements, including its work with Humberside Police in establishing a Force Wildlife Crime structure and successfully piloting and developing a highly successful text messaging service which notifies hundreds of members of suspicious vehicles and the locations of poachers instantly.

The PAW Partner of the Year Award, sponsored by Browne Jacobson solicitors, is presented each year to an organisation that has made a significant contribution to raising awareness and combating the growing problem of wildlife crime.

Past winners of the prestigious award have included the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Bat Preservation Trust and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Richard Barlow, Head of Environment at Browne Jacobson, commented:

"This award is a tribute to the tremendous work of everyone involved with Driffield Farmwatch in their efforts to combat crimes against wildlife, in particular Gordon who has been the driving force behind its success over many years. As a result of the groups efforts Humberside Police now has the second highest prosecution rate in the country under the Hunting Act 2004."

PAW was established in 1995 and brings together the police, government departments and voluntary bodies, with the aim of combating wildlife crime.

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