A man with a passion to protect our rural heritage takes up his role as Wildlife and Heritage Crime Officer

Police Constable Richard (Rich) Fussey only joined Humberside Police in 2018 but has now been appointed the Wildlife and Heritage Crime Officer to cover the East Riding of Yorkshire.

 

Before joining the police Rich gained a National Diploma in Countryside Management at Bishop Burton College and continued his studies to complete a BSC Hons in Countryside Management at Aberystwyth. He then worked as a lecturer at a Bishop Burton College for three years before teaching Countryside Management to apprentices.  He is now bringing his experience to support the rural communities in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Rich has been working as a patrol officer with Team 3, based out of Clough Road police station in Hull, responding to live, high priority and emergency incidents.  Now based in the Neighbourhood Policing Team in the ‘Capital of the Wolds’, Driffield, he is ideally located and wants to bring his vast experience, new ideas and fresh ways of working into the role.

We asked Rich what he is are hoping to develop in his new appointment. “I want to firstly thank my predecessors in this role, PC Brandon Ward and before that PC Julie Turrell (retired), as they have both made Humberside Police a leading force in tackling wildlife and rural crimes.  Training over 60 officers as Wildlife Crime Officers (WCOs) and putting us in a really good position to move forward.

“The results that they and the supporting officers and staff have made huge inroads into tackling rural crimes locally and have helped Humberside Police to become one of the top performing forces for prosecutions in areas such as poaching and illegal hunting.

“I’d really like us now, as a Force, to make increasing use of new technology with the use of drones and the AMPR network of cameras that are spread throughout the region. 

“I’d also like us to take a leaf out of other similarly rural forces, particularly North Yorkshire, who have gone down the route of having a rural task force. My aim would be for something like that as with such a large area with many remote spots, a rural task force with be able to plan and carry out operations to help prevent crime.

When asked how a Wildlife and Heritage Crime Officer helps our local residents he said, “Having a dedicated officer for wildlife and rural issues is important because it is someone who can focus specifically on key issues that are affecting the residents.

“We rely on our residents to inform us of the problems they are facing, and having someone like me who works closely as part of the neighbourhood teams will mean that I get to hear of issues first hand and help to resolve them.

“The neighbourhood teams are the ones out and about in our communities and I am able to support them by receiving their information and intelligence and acting on that information. 

“In the case of Driffield, as across the Force, these dedicated local officers and PCSOs are, of course, always on hand to help with local rural matters.  They know their area better than any and are a valuable asset to the local community.

“Ultimately I hope that my experience will benefit all our residents in detecting and preventing crimes such as harm to our precious wildlife, thefts from farms or damage to our historic buildings.

“The fact is that we rely heavily on our residents too.  They can help us help them.  The more we know the more we can do to help.  If there is something we need to know about people can call 101 to report non-emergency issues but if there is a crime in progress or a risk to life then always call 999.

“Humberside Police has had a massive recruitment drive in recent years but no matter how many police officers we have people must also help themselves.  I would ask everyone to look at ways of protecting their own property.  Consider installing CCTV systems, video doorbells are very useful too, both providing excellent evidence should any offence take place.

“I would encourage everyone to upload the ‘What Three Words’ app on their phone.  The app can pin-point a location, helping to guide emergency services to them or an incident.  Sometimes it’s really hard for people to describe or know where they actually are with no vantage points but ‘What Three Words’ gives an exact location for us to go to so, you never know when you will need it but if you have it on your phone it can just sit there until that time when you really do need it.

“One key way to help prevent crime is to work together.  The community, the police, and local community groups such as Neighbourhood Watch and Farm Watch are very good ways of helping support each other.  The more people that work together the safer our communities will be for everyone.

Rich ended by saying “Being a Wildlife and Heritage Crime Officer is a varied and very interesting role – I know I am going to be busy. It’s a big area to learn, from Spurn Point to Stamford Bridge but I am getting used to finding my way around.  I am really look forward to meeting with people and once we are less restricted I know I will be invited to meet the groups working hard in our communities to protect our wildlife and rural heritage.

“I want to take the Force forward and use the new technology at our disposal.  We are a leading force in the area of rural crime and I want us to keep moving that forward and leading in the fight against wildlife and rural crimes.”

Rich is ready to work hard to protect our local rural communities and prevent wildlife and heritage crimes.  If there is something that you think he should know about you can contact him via 101 or email him on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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