Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
254. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will fully answer the progress report on the establishment of the wildlife crime unit; the roles that will be included; the number of staff that will be in the unit; the current number of staff; the timeline for the recruitment of staff for the number of roles; the structure and location of the unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31925/22]
The function of the enhanced Wildlife Crime Unit (to be known as Wildlife Crime Operations) is to support the law enforcement work that has been, and continues to be done by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Regional staff.
Some 110 staff are working across all regions of the country to address wildlife crime. These include District Conservation Officers and Conservation Rangers, supported by Regional Managers and Divisional Managers. Some 86 Conservation Rangers are stationed across the country, and as I have announced previously, it is my intention to further increase ranger numbers up to 120. Work towards achieving this goal is ongoing as part of an increase in resourcing being made available to NPWS.