Last week we blogged about a poisoned peregrine that had been found in the Leadhills area of South Lanarkshire and the alleged response of Police Scotland and the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) to the incident (see here).
There have now been some official responses.
The NWCU has stated: “Formal operational procedures have been followed throughout and whilst the investigation is on-going further comment is inappropriate. The investigation is being conducted with utmost care, and third-party reports in the media of improper conduct are wholly uninformed” (see here for full statement).
NWCU has chosen to use the ‘it’s an on-going investigation so we can’t comment’ card. Quite how explaining their response to an initial telephone call would impact on an investigation is unclear, but there you have it. Transparency and accountability don’t seem to be high on the agenda.
Police Scotland are quoted in an article that was published in the Sunday Express yesterday: “There was no suggestion from the person reporting the dead bird that it had been poisoned or appeared in any way suspicious, and we responded accordingly“. The article can be read here: Leadhills peregrine Sunday Express April 2014
The member of the public who reported the dead peregrine to the police has told us they are furious with this response and they have put in a complaint to Police Scotland. They argue that Police Scotland are well aware of the long history of raptor persecution in the area: 45 reported incidents since 2003, and of those, 34 incidents involved the poison Carbofuran – the same poison that killed this peregrine. Of course the discovery of this poisoned peregrine was suspicious – how could it not be?
The member of the public also told us about the ‘on-going investigation’. The police contacted this person to advise of their theory about who might have poisoned the bird (we can’t publish that theory but it’s quite astonishing). The member of the public asked the police officer whether they needed a statement about the discovery of the dead bird: they said ‘no’.
That’s that then. The Untouchables: 45. Justice: 0.