New role to protect region's marine life

A new Aquaman is helping protecting marine life around the region.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 8:29 am
Marine Constable Paul Cullen.

Specialist Wildlife Officers have been in place within Northumbria Police for a number of years protecting animals and wildlife, investigating any linked crimes including poaching and animal cruelty.

Now that role takes to the water with the force’s first Marine Wildlife Officer.

Marine Constable Paul Cullen, dubbed the police’s Aquaman, has taken on the role in addition to his duties under the Marine Unit and will be investigating crimes such as harassing dolphins, illegal fishing and cruelty against animals such as seals.

He said: “As the Marine Wildlife Officer, I am responsible for enforcing legislation with regard to the protection and preservation of wildlife and enforcing the law and any criminal offences around it and their environment, as well giving advice on local knowledge around our coastline.

“I’m looking forward to the new challenge. We’ve had incidents in the past where people have harassed marine wildlife and it’s great we now have a dedicated resource for these types of crimes.”

PC Cullen is part of Northumbria Police’s dedicated Marine Unit, which covers 120 miles from Berwick to Ryhope and two major rivers and Ports, as well as inland waterways.

PC Cullen added: “We are privileged to see a varied amount of marine wildlife around our area and we should all be aware of our code of conduct. We want to protect our marine wildlife and the environment around it. We have a fantastic coastline in the North East which attracts a wealth of tourism.”