Police launch raptor crime awareness campaigns in Scotland, England & Wales

Police forces in England, Wales and Scotland have recently launched poster campaigns to raise awareness of crimes against birds of prey.

A couple of days ago, North Yorkshire Police announced their campaign against the illegal poisoning of raptors. They’ve produced a poster that will be distributed in rural areas including the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors; both of these areas are dominated by driven grouse moors and both areas are well known as raptor persecution hotspots. The posters will be displayed in National Park Centres and on parish council notice boards.

North York Police poisoning poster May 2015

Earlier this month, North Wales Police launched a campaign called Operation Raptor, aimed at targeting raptor poisoners in their region. This follows the poisoning of five peregrines last year and a suspected buzzard poisoning incident this year. The main peregrine poisoning suspects in the region are usually pigeon fanciers/racers.

Police Scotland launched their wildlife crime campaign in March (in collaboration with PAW Scotland), which involves raising awareness of all six national wildlife crime priorities, including raptor persecution.

These publicity campaigns are good to see. Excellent, in fact. However, the most important facet of tackling wildlife crime is not raising awareness (as important as that is), but what the police actually do in response to a reported wildlife crime. A recently published report on wildlife crime enforcement in Scotland revealed a catalogue of failures, including poor follow-up investigations and sometimes no follow-up at all (see here).

We’re watching with interest to see just how long it takes Police Scotland to publicise a number of raptor persecution crimes that have taken place within the last 12 months, especially those involving the use of banned poisons that have killed raptors on or very close to sporting estates with long histories of such crimes.


5 Responses to “Police launch raptor crime awareness campaigns in Scotland, England & Wales”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    May 14, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Excellent idea. If Police Scotland aren’t careful they will fall behind the English and welsh Police forces, particularly in keeping their bosses, us the public, up to date on these heinous crimes.

  2. 2 Dave Dick
    May 14, 2015 at 11:06 pm


    • 3 Marian
      May 15, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Why is it boring to show concern about the killing of our defenceless fellow creatures?

      • 4 Dougie
        May 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        It is all well reported and commented upon amongst the years of posts on this website. It makes disturbing reading.
        This latest placitude – (which we have heard several times before in various guises) is all talk and little action / weasel words etc.

        Failure to make any significant progress in dealing with raptor persecution is a worsening situation. Until those involved in this crime are seen to be properly brought to book then any publicity campaign will be viewed as a stunt aimed at masking reality (and that fools no one who has a detailed interest in the problem).

  3. 5 dougie
    May 18, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    more lip service………………………instead of putting up posters why not go and catch some poisoners

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