L-R: Sama Euridge, PC David Pilling, PC Kath Larrett, Amelia Davies

Habitat Mitigation Officers, who work across East Devon, Exeter and Teignbridge, are partnering up with Devon and Cornwall police officers.

Shaun Sawyer, the Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police has accredited South East Devon Habitat Regulations’ Officers under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

CSAS, originally introduced in 2005 across Devon and Cornwall will provide greater opportunity for Sama Euridge, Amelia Davies, Neil Harris and the police to work in partnership to ensure safer communities across South East Devon.

The accreditation supports the officers’ roles protecting internationally important conservation sites at Dawlish Warren, Exe Estuary and East Devon’s Pebblebed Heaths. It provides them with powers to enforce byelaws and public space protection orders, by requesting the name and address of any individuals breaching these or acting in an anti-social manner and reporting them to the relevant authorities.

It means they are now part of the extended policing family, giving them an official capacity to deal with offences. They can be identified by their CSAS badges making them clearly visible to members of the public.

Cllr Humphrey Clemens, Chair of South East Devon Habitat Regulations Executive Committee (SEDHREC), Teignbridge District Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Planning and Housing, said:

CSAS accreditation is very important for Neil, Sama and Amelia. It means they can work more closely in partnership with the police and other organisations to provide a safer community and improve the quality of life for people in the area.

Working together means that the local police can accompany Sama and Amelia on the protected sites, to tackle inappropriate behaviour to ensure the protection of wildlife and land to provide a pleasant environment for us all to use.

Superintendent Matt Lawler, the head of police in the area said:

I’m delighted that the Habitat Mitigation Team have formally joined our extended Policing family through CSAS, which will allow us to continue to build upon our already successful partnership working.

We are committed to working with and supporting, our key partners to ensure all areas of Devon & Cornwall are safer and individuals who live, work and visit South East Devon can enjoy the beautiful areas we are privileged to have.

Whilst CSAS is first and foremost about partnership working, it is a formal offence not to comply with a CSAS Accredited Person. Alongside this, police will be working to highlight crime prevention across the areas and ensure they are sharing information with each other to the benefit of the community.

Habitat Mitigation Officer, Amelia Davies, said:

The accreditation enables us to do our job more effectively. The majority of people we talk to understand that wildlife needs to be protected as our population grows. We are here to help people understand that the three councils around the Exe Estuary are legally required to protect the wildlife and habitat. By having CSAS accreditation it shows we are working with the police to prevent the breach of byelaws and public space protection orders.

To find out more about CSAS please visit www.dc.police.uk/csas or email csas@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk