The LINK Has Now Arrived in Ukraine
Awareness of the previously neglected connection between animal abuse and diverse anti social activities including crime, child abuse and domestic violence, is now sweeping the European continent with more and more authorities applying this concept to improve the quality of life in their societies. This week it arrived in Ukraine.
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The first training for the ‘link’ work in Kyiv, Ukraine was completed yesterday. This involved a structured programme to the animal groups, Municipality and the senior Kyiv police officers. It highlighted what we already know and how tackling animal abuse would have a positive impact on their current strategies and priorities as well as positive impact on community relations. A partnership for animals. It was very well received and Ukraine Police are very forward thinking. Still much work to be done but it is a step. The training will now be cascaded to the 2000 strong force in the city.
The mission of Hidden-in-Sight is to show animal cruelty and exploitation and how it often connects to other criminality in order to prevent abuse. Our expertise comes from many years of policing experience combined with recent work within the animal charity sector. We can provide a bridge between the two areas that helps deliver effective ‘boots on the ground’ results.
Within our remit is advising and offering training on the Link between animal abuse and human abuse as well as the connectivity between organised animal crime and more traditionally understood organised crime.
Having supported the delivery of police training in Greece through 2016 and 2017, organised by the Pan-Hellenic Animal Welfare Federation (PFO), we are now opening training in Ukraine. This will predominantly be aimed at the Patrol Police and the animal NGOs and will focus around how to carry out early intervention in an animal abuse case that will recognise that there may be a link to other crimes that are ‘hidden in sight’.
The intention will be for the new police departments formed since independence to take the responsibility for developing continuing practice that supports The Link. As those officers that see crime scenes for the first time, we believe it is critical that is where training is concentrated.
We thank Ukraine for their foresight in taking this step to tackle animal welfare issues and prevent violence.
Training of the senior police in Kyiv has now taken place and now will be cascaded to the 2000 patrol officers, and beyond. There was also training of the Municipality who are developing new processes around animal welfare, and to some of the very passionate and dedicated animal groups.
The course essentially explains why dealing with animal crimes matters and how it links to other forms of criminality; how it rarely exists in a vacuum and how to prevent other linked crime. It also helps install public confidence by dealing with these issues professionally. On a frequent basis there are cases of extreme human violence that could perhaps have been prevented by recognising ‘red flags’ and doing something about them. This is one reason why animal crime now features on the FBI indicators. For example, in Ukraine a group of young men tortured and hung stray animals then moved onto a killing spree of 21 humans.
With organised animal fighting attracting purses of maybe 50,000 euros and being intertwined with narcotics, guns and even child pornography, these should be seen as prevention opportunities for the police and not an extra burden.
So, thank you Ukraine. Thank you to the police officers and others who want to see change. It is an honour, and a pleasure, to work with you – such enthusiasm, passion and openness. And if you haven’t been to Kyiv, it’s cold … but so welcoming.