National award for Sunderland PC's animal cruelty fight
A Sunderland police officer has been given a national honour for his work to convict criminals who abuse animals.
Southwick-based PC Peter Baker is to be recognised for his services to the community with a British Citizen Award Medal of Honour.
Established in 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals and true community heroes who would otherwise likely be overlooked, each Medal of Honour bears the words ‘For the Good of the Country’ and they are presented to only a small number of exceptional individuals twice yearly.
PC Baker, now in his 17th year of service, has worked closely with the RSPCA to secure a number of recent convictions against pet owners who have neglected, mistreated or abused animals in their care.
He has also worked with animal groups to deliver educational sessions at schools across Wearside – in a bid to “inspire the next generation of animal protectors”.
“It is truly humbling to be considered for this award,” said PC Baker, 39. “I’ve always been an animal lover and grew up having pets so it is my dream job to be a wildlife officer and be tasked with pursuing anyone who threatens the welfare of animals.
“I don’t do this for recognition, I do it because I’m passionate about animals and strongly believe those who mistreat or neglect animals should be punished and have their day in court.
“I’m incredibly fortunate to work with some fantastic colleagues and partners, including the RSPCA. If a criminal offence has been committed, police can then seize the animals and assist with the owner’s prosecution.
“We also do a lot of educational work in schools in order to teach the next generation of the importance of looking after animals."Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen said PC Baker was a ‘deserved recipient’ of the honour: “I am delighted PC Peter Baker’s efforts are being recognised nationally and that he is to receive this award – it is richly deserved.
“He should be incredibly proud of the important work he has carried out and the difference he continues to make in improving animal welfare,” he said.