I was humbled today to receive the WWF `Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year` award for Operation Owl 2019. This follows the initial launch of Op Owl in North Yorkshire winning the same award in 2018.
This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of Police Wildlife Crime Officers from up and down the UK who have given me their absolute support in raising awareness of the ongoing plight our birds of prey face.
My thanks to every Wildlife Crime Officer who supported the awareness raising weekend in both the planning and delivery and to all the amazing partners who gave up their time to support the variety of events that took place. Its fair to say that WCOs do an amazing job, often under very challenging evidential circumstances, but remain focused on securing justice for our wildlife.
My thanks also to all the `press officers` I spoke to from so many different agencies who helped the awareness raising social media activity. In total, over 7.5 million people had #OpOwlUK information flooding their social media timelines across the weekend.
My thanks to the RSPB Investigations Team for taking the time to help prepare videos, leaflets, beer mats and more. The team also worked across the weekend across the country to attend awareness raising events with the RSPB Skydancer Team.
My thanks to everyone who hosted a #OpOwlUK event across the country, to everyone who attended an event and to everyone who tweeted about it, spoke about it to family and friends and to everyone who has visited OperationOwl.Com to learn more about the issue.
Finally a massive thank you to Sergeant Stu Grainger of the North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force. His tireless commitment to tackling raptor persecution and his administrative coordination of the weekends activities have been outstanding. It was my honour to present him with a `Superintendents Commendation` this weekend for his dedication and commitment to Operation Owl.
Plans are already developing for two awareness raising weekends in 2020….. so watch this space for further information.
Together, we will end this.