POLICE in Derbyshire have increased their focus on wildlife crime in response to concerns raised by the public.
In the run-wup to the first police and crime commissioner elections in 2012, Alan Charles, who serves in the role in Derbyshire, said more people raised the subject of wildlife crime, such as fox hunting and badger baiting, than any other single issue.
Mr Charles said he had worked hard to address the issue, with the creation of a wildlife crime investigation team within the county's force for one example.
Special constables and volunteers have also been tasked with being the police's 'eyes and ears', with people also being urged to report any animal cruelty they witness, as well as other crimes.
Mr Charles said: "We want our rural communities to have the confidence to report any concerns they have about offences in their local areas. The more reports we receive, the richer the intelligence the force can develop."