Wildlife and Rural Crime

Humberside Police are committed to the policing of Rural and Wildlife Crime.

What is rural crime? Within Humberside Police we have defined it as: "Any crime and anti-social behaviour that takes place in a rural location".

Our four Force priorities for rural crime are: Burglary, Criminal Damage, Theft of and from machinery or equipment and Poaching / Hare Coursing


We have trained 60 Wildlife Crime Officers (WCOs) who, along with their normal duties, volunteer to investigate and provide advice in relation to wildlife offences.

WCOs are specially trained in investigating crimes against wildlife. They will either assist other police officers or take the lead role in the investigation of the more intricate cases, and can also provide advice to colleagues & members of the public.

WCOs are able to provide support and advice in relation to Wildlife & Rural Crime, and have a personal interest in this type of work.

Humberside Police is fast becoming one of the lead forces in the area of wildlife crime within the UK. Investing in staff in this complex area of policing is one of the main ways forward to protect our rural communities and wildlife. Having 60 staff trained, who are prepared to go that extra mile to protect our valuable wildlife for future generations, is a strong sign of our continued commitment to our rural communities.


rural task force at workDecember 2021 - Wildlife protected as hare courses and illegal ‘lampers’ driven out of rural areas - Over the past few months our Rural Task Force and Neighbourhood Police Officers have been working hard to protect our local wildlife. Read more here: Wildlife protected



rural crime officer looking across countrysideDecember 2021 - Protecting our rural communities - We’re offering advice to help our rural communities protect their homes  - Read more: Burglary crime prevention.



rural task force at workDecember 2021 - Do something Special – Shane did! - Shane O’Neill is a valued volunteer police Special Sergeant for Humberside Police as part of the Special Constabulary.  He has a passion to protect and prevent wildlife crime. On Saturday 4 December he was awarded a commendation by the coveted National Wildlife Crime Unit under the Wildlife Crime Enforcer of the Year category. Read more here: Award winning volunteer



Jenna Jones receiving awardDecember 2021 - Humberside Police Operation Seabird wins national Rural Crime Award - Amazing news – Operation Seabird, which was launched to protect seabirds and sea mammals on the East Coast of East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, has only gone and won a prestigious national award! Read more here: Op Seabird Award



Lawrence Grant pictured with farmer and Jane ProudOctober 2021 - New Wildlife, Rural and Heritage Crime Officer for the Southbank - PC Lawrence Grant has taken over as the Wildlife, Rural and Heritage Crime Officer for the Southbank following the retirement of PC Jane Proud who had served her community for over 20 years. Read more here: New Wildlife, Rural and Heritage Crime Officer



Lawrence Grant pictured with farmerOctober 2021 - Innovative technology launched to combat sheep thefts - An initiative to prevent sheep theft, and assist in prosecutions against those committing the thefts, has been launched in rural North Lincolnshire. The programme has been designed to prevent local farmers from becoming victims of crime. Find out more: Combat Sheep Thefts


Rural Crime - report suspicious activityOctober 2021 - Theft of livestock and machinery - As we continue to tackle rural crime in the Humberside Police area we are offering some crime prevention advice to farmers and rural communities to help deter and prevent the theft of livestock and machinery. Find our more: Theft of livestock and machinery


September 2021 - Keep hare coursers out of our countryside - Hare coursing is reducing year on year in our area because of action taken by the police and the close working relationship with our rural communities. Read more here: Protecting wildlife



August 2021 - Don’t let this harvest be a good one for thieves – rural crime prevention advice - Read more here: Theft and burglary crime prevention






BBC Countryfile's Tom Herd on board with Jenna Jones and Rich FusseyJuly 2021 - Rural Crime in the Spotlight - BBC Countryfile filmed on the East Coast - covering our Operation Seabird activity. Rural Crime in the Spotlight




Operation Seabird ready for the day of actionJune 2021 - Operation Seabird - Day of action - Friday 4 June 2021 saw an Operation Seabird Day of Action.  A day to raise awareness about the importance of our coastline and reduce water-borne disturbance to the sensitive wildlife and to prevent harm to our precious coastal wildlife. Read more here: Operation Seabird 2021

Stolen dogs reunited with ownersMay 2021 - Three Spaniels stolen from a farm are reunited with their owner - following a national appeal all three dogs are now safely back with their owner at home in the East Riding. Dogs reunited with owners



rural crime vehicle in sun setMarch 2021 - Fears Over Dog Thefts - We understand that nationally there are increased reports of dogs being taken but we are thankfully not seeing a rise in our area.  The number of dog thefts reported to us in our area remains low. read more: Fears over dog thefts



Rural Task ForceFebruary 2021 - Rural Task Force based at Driffield Police Station to targeting those who chose to commit crime within our rural communities.  Read more: Rural Task Force


Humberside Police would like to ask residents, whether from the farming community or not, to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious by calling the non-emergency number 101.  If someone sees a crime in progress always call 999.​



Read our new Rural Safety and Crime Prevention Guide here: