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The Elsie Ashley Award presented to Mr Michael Arnold - Investigative Services

Mrs Elsie Ashley-Stretton, OBE, JP, was a long-standing member of the Staffordshire Police Authority and she has been a lifelong supporter of wildlife and environment issues. Mrs Ashley-Stretton presented her award to Staffordshire Police for it to become one of the formal annual awards.

The Chief Constable chooses the recipient from nominations across the force and it is awarded to the member of Staffordshire Police whom she believes has done the most to preserve or promote wildlife or the environment within Staffordshire during the previous 12 months.


Mike Arnold is a dedicated scenes of crime officer, who has a strong commitment to wildlife crime.

Mike has been a trailblazer nationally in relation to the use of forensic strategies to combat and, better understand, wildlife crime trends. He has used his knowledge base and experience to investigate how DNA databases can be used to identify different herds of deer and how it can also be used to store dog DNA with a view to identifying offenders for a number of different crimes against animals.

Mike Arnold
Mike Arnold
He has also been instrumental in providing small portable SOCO early evidence gathering kits, which have been provided to all wildlife officers, with a view to obtaining best evidence at crime scenes. These kits have also been allocated to some of our partners who are best placed to use them such as gamekeepers who are also police rural volunteers.

Mike has also presented his findings to the National Ballistic Intelligence Service (NABIS) and how ballistics examinations can be used to advance identification of offenders. It must be noted that he does all of this voluntarily and in addition to his day job.

The Chief Constable is delighted to invite Mrs Elsie Ashley-Stretton to present the Elsie Ashley Award to Michael Arnold.