The innovative inter-agency collaboration undertaken by Bulmer and Trackman contributed significantly to the success of Operation Cobra III. Bulmer and Trackman now continue to share their knowledge to develop future operations, ensuring their work has a continuing legacy.
WWF and the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) presented the award at the 27th Annual UK National Wildlife Crime Conference on Saturday 28th November, where law enforcers, statutory agencies and NGOs gather at the conference to hear the latest views, approaches, successes and challenges of combating wildlife crime in the UK.
Sarah Goddard, Species Policy Officer at WWF-UK, said:
I commend Helen and Sam on their excellent work, which exemplifies successful partnership working between two very important enforcement bodies in tackling the illegal wildlife trade. As this Operation shows, it is crucial that efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife in the UK are maintained. The UK Government should continue to resource both Border Force and the NWCU - the alternative would be to face devastating blows for the fight against the illegal wildlife trade".
Dan O'Mahoney, Deputy Director, Border Force Heathrow said:
"Border Force officers play a crucial role in the fight against the illegal trafficking of endangered species. The significant number of seizures made during Operation Cobra dealt a serious blow to criminals involved in this despicable trade.
Joint operations maximise our impact, often leading us to uncover serious organised crime networks in the UK and overseas. Those illegally trading in wildlife products should be in no doubt - we will target you at the UK border and beyond. Sam and Helen are experts in their field and fully deserve this award, recognising the outstanding contribution they made to this operation."
Martin Sims, Head of National Wildlife Crime Unit commented:
"I am delighted that the work Helen and Sam put into the success of operation Cobra III has been formally recognised. Their contribution was hugely significant and I believe leaves a legacy for the future. This operation has also identified how significant the United Kingdom is in the illegal wildlife trade. Now this has been exposed, it is for us within the UK Border Force and UK Policing to continue the battle in combating this type of crime."
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Notes to Editors:
The Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) is a multi-agency body comprising representatives of the organisations involved in wildlife law enforcement in the UK. It provides opportunities for statutory and non-Government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime: www.defra.gov.uk/paw/
The independent judging panel for the awards comprises of representatives from the Home Office, Police, Scottish Government, Defra, WWF and TRAFFIC.
WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.
Lianne Mason, Media Relations Officer WWF-UK
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