Constable David Cruxton – Local Policing North
Mrs Elsie Ashley-Stretton, OBE, JP, was a long-standing member of the Staffordshire Police Authority and she has been a lifelong supporter of wildlife and environmental issues. Mrs Ashley-Stretton presented her award to Staffordshire Police for it to become one of the formal annual awards.
The Chief Constable chooses the recipient from nominations across the force and it is awarded to the member of Staffordshire Police whom she believes has done the most to preserve or promote wildlife or the environment within Staffordshire during the previous 12 months.
PC David Cruxton, based in Leek, is one of two specialists in rural and wildlife matters in the Moorlands. He covers The Roaches and Hen Cloud in the Peak District National Park.
Since 2007 the area has had a pair of successful breeding Peregrine falcons. But in 2013, when three-week-old chicks disappeared, it was suspected they had been stolen.
David liaised with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the Peak National Park and Peregrine Watch volunteers to find ways to protect the nest. An exclusion area was set up by the British Mountaineering Council and David got relevant licences to fit trail cams and SmartWater for further protection.
After getting advice, he used his experience as a qualified climber and mountaineer to fit the devices. He did it in such a way as to not disrupt the birds so they did not abandon the nest.
As well as running the dedicated wildlife operations, David also spent his own time to make sure the birds were protected and the chicks successfully fledged.
His work and dedication towards this area of policing is outstanding.