Lancashire

Civilian leads fight against Lancashire wildlife crime

Mark Thomas
Image caption Mark Thomas previously worked in the counter- terrorism unit

A civilian is to take charge of wildlife crime in Lancashire for the first time.

Traditionally a job for a police officer, the appointment is part of Lancashire Constabulary's cost-cutting measures.

Mark Thomas, 37, will be responsible for issues such as poaching, dog fighting and the theft of birds' eggs.

He takes over from PC Duncan Thomas, who has held the position for the past six years.

'Reduced budget'

Mr Thomas said he was looking forward to helping fight countryside crime in the county.

He said: "I come from a rural background of farming and game-keeping so wildlife issues have always been close to my heart."

He has worked for the constabulary for 10 years, previously working in a civilian role in the counter-terrorism unit.

The move to civilianise the post was taken as part of the force's current review of services.

A spokesman said: "There is a huge challenge for the constabulary to come through the next few years with a reduced budget while still delivering high quality policing services to our communities.

"The role of wildlife officer is one post which is currently part of the review process."

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