Police wildlife detective nets top award

He has helped investigate the theft of rare bird eggs and assisted in seizing illegal birds being brought into the county.

Tracey Gray

He has helped investigate the theft of rare bird eggs and assisted in seizing illegal birds being brought into the county.

Now a Norfolk police officer has netted a top national award for his commitment to tackling wildlife crime.

DC Jerry Simpson from Norfolk Police was given the lifetime achievement award at the Police and Customs Wildlife Enforcement Conference in Fife.

DC Simpson has worked as a wildlife crime officer for the police, much of it voluntarily, since 1997.

He has worked for Norfolk Constabulary for 30 years, 21 of which for Norwich CID, and is due to officially retire from the force in February.

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As well as working for the police, he volunteers for the Broads Authority, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB and was recently awarded The Broads Society Trophy for his voluntary work around the Broads.

He said it is his work in the field of wildlife that he is most proud and counts his most successful job as the Lingham case in 2005 where he started an investigation into the theft of more than 3,000 eggs, many from a conservation area

Investigators raided Daniel Lingham's caravan in Newton Van Park Newton St Faith, a village near Norwich, and found a staggering collection of more than 3, 500 eggs including those of protected birds such as the little tern stone curlew and osprey,

DC Simpson said: “I was particularly proud of this case because it was an investigation I had started myself and it was also the first time we had a person from Norfolk actually go to prison for stealing eggs. The story got quite a lot of publicity and highlighted the issue of egg thefts.”

DC Simpson has been involved in nearly all the major wildlife cases Norfolk Constabulary has investigated.

Speaking about winning the award, he said: “I was very surprised but extremely pleased to win such an award. It is a subject that I feel very passionate about. Wildlife is something I have always been interested in so volunteering for the role seemed the natural thing to do.”

Assistant chief constable Kevin Wilkins, who nominated DC Simpson for the award, said: “All of Jerry's excellent WCO work over the years has been voluntary, on top of his extremely high work load and often in his own time.

“At a time when getting volunteers is so important and yet so hard, it is very fortunate for Norfolk, a large county full of important and abundant wildlife, to have had Jerry as a Wildlife Crime Officer.”

Do you know someone who has scooped a national award? Call Evening News reporter Tracey Gray on 01603 772418 or email tracey.gray@archant.co.uk