Speaker Spotlight – Stu Ross and Hazel Cross


Stu and Hazel will be presenting a session on: Wildlife Response – A Different Set of Problems!

The session will discuss considerations for wildlife and how a Police led scheme is minimising the impact of these situations through sending appropriate industry professionals within a structured and accountable police response , delivering the right knowledge and skills at the point of need.

  • Humane animal dispatch scheme – Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary
  • How else might wildlife professionals support response
  • Creation of a wildlife emergency support network

Here is the latest Rural Times newsletter that highlights the work that Stu, Hazel and the wider team in Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary carry out in the Country Watch Team;

Stu has been a serving officer with the Constabulary for 20 years, working in a variety of roles and departments including Response, Neighbourhoods, Custody and Firearms.

His current role is managing Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s Country Watch Team.

Hazel has been a member of the Constabulary for 22 years working in a variety of roles and departments including Criminal Justice Unit, Court Liaison, Contact Management. My current role is to coordinate the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Country Watch Team who are assigned to tackling Rural and Wildlife criminality.

With additional responsibilities of organising two police led volunteer groups, those being the Mounted Rural Patrol and the Humane Animal Dispatch scheme (HAD).

Hazel has worked develop and enhance the HAD scheme in Hampshire alongside Stu.

Our main focus is tackling Rural and Wildlife Crime, with my team being made up of Wildlife Crime officers, Police Staff Investigators, Special Constables and a Coordinator. The Country Watch Team has a secondary role of supporting Hampshire and Thames Valley Police’s Air Support Unit with flying drones.

As the supervisor of Country Watch, I have the responsibility of managing two volunteer groups which are the Mounted Rural Patrol and the Humane Animal Dispatch Scheme (HAD). Over the past 18 months I have worked alongside subject matter experts and partner agencies to develop and enhance the HAD scheme in Hampshire. My focus has been to improve the safety of our volunteers when deployed to a deer dispatch incident and to bring the level of training to an accredited national standard.

My aim by October 2024 is to present Hampshire’s HAD scheme to all police forces across England and Wales to encourage the implementation of this valuable volunteer service, which prioritises animal welfare and reducing demand on police resources.

I am delighted to be able to lead this volunteer group, where in January the scheme won a Citizens in Policing Team Award along with receiving a nomination for the 2024 Police and Crime Commissioner Awards – Police Volunteer of the Year.