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Calls for a Welsh "FBI" to help protect our fragile environment

 

Environmental volunteers from two conservation groups based in Barry are calling on the Welsh Government to urgently set up a Wales wide "FBI" style environmental police force.

They say the force is needed in order to tackle the growing environmental crimes of fly tipping and littering and also illegal wildlife poisoning, cruelty and shooting.

They believe the force should be funded by a combination of tax on single use plastics and fines imposed by successful prosecutions.

They have jointly launched a petition calling on the Welsh Government to "establish a Wales wide Environmental and a wildlife Enforcement Service to tackle environmental crime https://petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/200130 

Following the appalling scenes of littering/fly tipping and the poisoning/shooting of precious wildlife since the ending of the Covid 19 lockdown, we now need a "thin green line" to help defend our environment and nature.

Relying solely on education is failing our natural world, people need to be aware that there will be effective enforcement as well.

This Environmental and Wildlife Enforcement Agency must be able to operate throughout Wales wherever the need arises, quickly investigating and tracking down the perpetrators and holding them to account whether they are individuals or rogue businesses.

There were 35,424 fly tipping incidents in Wales last year, whether it's a fridge dumped at the corner of a field or carpets dumped in a pristine forest or tyres left on an isolated beach.

The clean up is costing Welsh taxpayers millions of pounds each year...money that could be better spent on the NHS or improving our schools or even planting more trees.Currently these environmental criminals know that the chances of getting caught are miniscule.

We believe that the main thrust from Government should and must be education, but there also needs to be an effective element of enforcement to act as a deterrent.

For the sake of the natural world we must win the war against pollution and wildlife crime.

Wales recently ranked second in the RSPB UK raptor (birds of prey) persecution tables, yet there are hardly any prosecutions for this type of crime.

The Welsh Government's own groundbreaking legislation, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which commits to leaving a better quality environment for future generations... without urgent action some of Wales' wild birds face a bleak future.

Badger baiting and illegal fox hunting are also hidden crimes throughout Wales.

This green force needs to be equipped with the latest modern and effective surveillance equipment so those who think they can break the law without being seen, will have a nasty surprise when the court summons lands on their doorstep.

The Welsh Government's own groundbreaking legislation, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, commits to leaving a better quality environment for future generations, and without urgent action some of Wales' wildlife faces a bleak future.  

The Chairman of Barry Action for Nature, Rob Curtis, added:"For too long our natural world has been damaged by fly tippers, litterers, rogue gamekeepers and unscrupulous businesses. We urgently need a "FBI" style enforcement service, which would help protect our wildlife and the environment we all live in!

"Our volunteers carry out wonderful work helping to protect nature, but we all know our work is nothing compared to the damage done by those who do not give a damn!!"

Spokesperson of Friends of Barry Beaches, Claire Curtis, added "For ten years we have been removing litter from the five main beaches of Barry and it is so disappointing to see the amount of littering and fly tipping that is currently taking place around Wales. Recent surveys show that despite national campaigns, littering and plastic pollution continues to be a problem and clearly education alone is not enough."

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