Two Red kites poisoned & shot in Highlands: get your act together, Police Scotland

RK Cawdor poisoned 2014RSPB Scotland has issued a press release about the discovery of two illegally killed red kites in the Highlands. One was found shot on a railway line and the other one was found poisoned on Cawdor Estate (see photo).

The press release is interesting (read it here) but what’s more interesting is what is revealed by reading in between the lines.

Both birds were discovered in 2014. The shot red kite was found near Beauly in June 2014 (probably this one we blogged about in October 2014) and the poisoned red kite was found in September 2014.

The RSPB statement says, “Both of these incidents took place in 2014 and are now being made public as the Police have concluded their enquiries”.

So it takes Police Scotland over a year to disclose an illegally shot red kite and almost a year to disclose an illegally poisoned red kite. They’ve now ‘concluded their enquiries’ without appealing for information from the public and without executing a search under warrant on Cawdor Estate. What exactly did their ‘enquiries’ entail? Sitting around a table, scratching their heads, before deciding to keep both crimes under wraps?

Of course, an investigation in to the circumstances of the shot red kite would be a hide in to nothing – the bird was most probably shot elsewhere and dumped on the railway line to make it look like it had collided with a train. That’s a very difficult crime to detect, although had the Police made an appeal for information at the time the bird was found, there was always a slim chance that someone might have seen something. But no, far easier just to keep quiet and not attract any more embarrassing media coverage so soon after the mass poisoning of 22 kites and buzzards at nearby Conon Bridge (which is still undetected….more on that soon).

However, the ‘investigation’ in to the circumstances of the poisoned red kite that was found on Cawdor Estate just beggars belief. Cawdor Estate is well known as it has been at the centre of alleged wildlife crimes for over two decades. Here are just some of the incidents recorded either on the estate or close to the estate (for which nobody has ever been prosecuted) –

1992: Dead buzzard, magpie and sheep (laced with Strychnine)

1993:  Dead buzzard (poisoned with Alphachloralose) found on Forestry Commission land 100 metres from the boundary of Cawdor Estate.

1994: Three dead buzzards (poisoned with Alphachloralose) and a poisoned rabbit bait

1996: Three poisoned baits found: a hare laced with Alphachloralose, a goat laced with Aldicarb and a widgeon laced with Strychnine.

1996: A hidden pit containing a suspected bird of prey poisoning kit uncovered by investigators three miles from the estate.

1999: A report sent to the Procurator Fiscal alleging that mountain hares were illegally persecuted in snares on the estate.

2000: A second report submitted to the Fiscal claiming mistreatment of hares on the estate.

2001: A dead golden eagle (poisoned with Carbofuran)

2004: A number of illegal gin traps found set around rabbit baits

2004: A dead buzzard (poisoned with Carbofuran)

2005: A dead red kite (poisoned with Carbofuran)

2007: A dead red kite (poisoned with Carbofuran)

2010: Two red kites found poisoned on neighbouring ground close to estate boundary

With a record like this, wouldn’t you expect Police Scotland, on discovery of the latest poisoned red kite, to request a search warrant and head straight for the estate? Wouldn’t that be a logical first step? Why didn’t that happen?

Did the Police actually talk to anybody on Cawdor Estate about this poisoned kite? If you read a quote attributed to Alex Hogg of the SGA (on the BBC news website here), you’d think not. Hogg says:

“This is the first we have heard of any such incidents….”.

Really? Cawdor Estate has very close links to the SGA. Cawdor’s former Head Gamekeeper and later Sporting Manager Roddy Forbes was the inaugural Chairman of the SGA. And further, the SGA’s 2010 Young Gamekeeper of the Year was an employee on Cawdor Estate. That’s indicative of pretty close ties between the estate and the SGA, and yet the SGA claim not to have heard about this crime?

As an aside, Hogg is further quoted: “….We do not know the possible causes [of the birds’ deaths] which makes it difficult to comment further”.

Eh? The causes of death have been established. One kite was shot, the other was poisoned. Why is it ‘difficult to comment further’? A little bit too embarrassing, Alex?

A Police Scotland spokesperson is also quoted in the BBC article:

“Investigating wildlife crime is challenging because of its nature, and the vast areas covered. Police Scotland works closely with partners including the RSPB to tackle wildlife crime, and brings to bear the full range of investigative techniques at its disposal. Our detection rate is increasing. Our aim is to reduce wildlife crime and earlier this year we launched a campaign raising awareness”.

Yes, of course investigating wildlife crime is challenging, nobody disputes that. But sitting on enquiries, hiding them from the public, and not undertaking searches on estates where poisoned birds are discovered is not ‘bringing to bear the full range of investigative techniques’ at their disposal. It’s anything but that.

And what’s this about ‘our detection rate is increasing’? Are there any data to support this claim or are we supposed to just accept the word of a police force under increasing pressure to get its act together?

So what now for Cawdor Estate, almost one year on from the discovery of this poisoned kite? Might it be too much to hope that SNH will issue a General Licence restriction order? Guess we’ll have to wait and see, although that might be a bit embarrassing for SNH given that they have chucked thousands of pounds (of our money!) at Cawdor Estate to help fund their ranger service.


55 Responses to “Two Red kites poisoned & shot in Highlands: get your act together, Police Scotland”

  1. 1 crypticmirror
    August 28, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Cover it up and hush it up, the whole police attitude on wildlife crime.

  2. August 28, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Isn’t it about time a mass mailing to Nicola Sturgeon was organised on this topic. E petitions can do so much, dealing with a mountain of letters will make more of an impact.

  3. 3 Let's get MAD for wildlife
    August 28, 2015 at 9:52 am

    It sounds to us like Police Scotland could use the expertise of the SSPCA in cases such as these…

  4. 4 Carrie
    August 28, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Eagerly anticipating another copy-and-paste statement from the highly effective Aileen Mcleod…

  5. 5 keen birder
    August 28, 2015 at 10:55 am

    What can you say? terrible acts, so unnecessary and unprofessional, total selfish morons. I am confident the Red Kites will thrive in the end, their future is a lot brighter that the toss pots that kill them. Another nail in the coffin for their cause.

  6. 6 Dave
    August 28, 2015 at 10:57 am

    “Both of these birds had been fitted with satellite tags by RSPB Scotland as part of a wider project to follow the movements of these birds and look at factors influencing their survival. It is doubtful whether either of the corpses of these birds would have been found if the satellite tags had not been in place.”

    If the bird that was shot had been shot elsewhere and moved, wouldn’t it’s satelite record show this?

    A poisoned kite may not have been deliberately targeted (albeit with an illegal poison, and I’m not defending ANY use of poisons), a shot one most certainly was.

    • August 28, 2015 at 11:23 am

      “If the bird that was shot had been shot elsewhere and moved, wouldn’t its satellite record show this?”

      That would depend on the transmission cycle of that particular sat tag. It’s unlikely to have been set to transmit every minute of every day. Depending on the type of tag deployed, some can transmit with such frequency (but with a shorter life span) but others are set to transmit at less frequent intervals to extend the life span of the tag.

  7. 8 Brian Robertson
    August 28, 2015 at 11:54 am

    My first thoughts on this matter (and they won’t be my last) are that the provision of anti-poison dogs by the Scottish Government is long overdue. The disgrace of illegal poisoning has been with us for decades now and it’s not going to go away any time soon.

    What with its (near) state of bankruptcy and the massive human migration problems it currently has to deal with, I can understand why this service had to be financed by international donations in relation to the poisoning problems in Greece but here in Scotland/UK, surely law enforcers should not need to go cap-in-hand to the public to provide funds for this necessary tool.

    And then wouldn’t it be nice to form a register of landowners who have volunteered to have these dogs check out their land and outhouses at any (reasonable) time. Of course what would be interesting would be the gaps in the map where some landowners had withheld their permission!

    Whilst this may sound a bit radical, leaving poison out in the countryside is an (almost) unbelievably reckless thing to do and something radical needs to be done about it now. What the public may not know and what our governments somehow refuse to acknowledge is just how dangerous this activity is with many incidents in the past proving that sufficient quantities of poison had been left out to kill several humans.

    I recall going on holiday to Mull during the time of the last foot & mouth outbreak and seeing first hand the scale of the financial disaster that was inflicted upon the tourist industry, an industry that is essential to Scotland and the people of Scotland.

    Just imagine the damage that would be done to this industry if one child died from poisoning because their parents had no idea that they were bringing their family to a country that ‘allowed’ poisons to be left indiscriminately in our countryside. Remember some of these poisons can be absorbed through the skin, no need to ingest them.

    So come on Scottish Government, lets….. double (our) toil and (resolve our) trouble!

  8. 11 philip rafferty
    August 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    two red kites found dead in 2014. i find it difficult to understand why there is a delay in making this information public and asking the public for any information in relation to such incidents. police scotland seem to say this being an ongoing inquirey it is not made public. correct me if i have a problem understanding this but if a person is found dead, or a house burglary in your town, the police pubicise this asking the public for any information. these crimes are ongoing enquiries so why does police scotland publicise one type of crime but continue to keep the lid on wildlife crime which will eliminate a possibility of witnesses. ps any chance on a decision on incre
    ased powers for sspca. big phil

    • 12 Marco McGinty
      August 29, 2015 at 2:29 am

      Because they are corrupt, Phil.

      The other crimes you mention tend to be more high profile than wildlife crimes, so the police will act on these, especially if the media is involved, and they will use the media, as you suggest, and appeal to the public for information.

      Raptor persecution cases on the other hand, sometimes tend to be in remote areas, mostly on shooting estates, and quite often there will be someone in the local force that will have a friendly connection with someone on the estate. As a result of this, the police will either refuse to act in a timely manner, or they will provide a wee tip off that they will be visiting at such and such a time, giving the estate time to “clean up” after the crime.

      Now we all know of the Conon Bridge massacre, along with these two Red Kite deaths, as well as many other wildlife crimes in the Highlands region, all of which received minimal effort by the investigating police, if there was any effort to start with. We are rightly angered by this. However, it would appear that poaching is treated altogether differently by Police Scotland in this very same area. The following link is an archive of a BBC website page from earlier this year. https://archive.is/2QnD8

      It is an illuminating insight how differently raptor persecution investigations are conducted, when compared to poaching. In the poaching incident, the police received a tip off from the West Lochaber Deer Management Group, resulting in immediate police action, and the police stopping the criminal in his vehicle. Two days later, investigations are then carried out on the hillside where the deer was killed, and DNA evidence was gathered. These samples were then taken/sent to the SASA laboratory in Edinburgh for analysis, which in turn led to a search warrant being granted to search the criminal’s vehicle. Samples were taken from the van, and presumably these were taken/sent to the SASA lab in Edinburgh, where it was discovered that there was a DNA match.

      Raptor persecutions on the other hand, as evidenced by the endless stream of failures by Police Scotland in the Highlands area, it is clear that they couldn’t care less, and they are more than happy to explicitly ignore the issue and sweep all under the carpet of corruption.

      Oh yes, I forgot to mention that it also turned out that the criminal in the poaching case was a gamekeeper! It would appear that their criminal actions don’t stop at raptors, but the lenient sentences usually handed down seem to be a central component of the corrupt judicial system. https://archive.is/YMrVT

      And just another wee taster on the inconsistencies of the judicial system, here is another archived link to a BBC website page, in which it tells the story of a man who was given a four-month jail term for a hoax phone call. https://archive.is/3rueZ (Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I believe that putting lives at risk should be punished by a term in jail, but we don’t see it very often when gamekeepers and landowners are polluting our countryside with banned poisons, and are equally putting lives at risk).

      Anyway, does anyone know if Chief Inspector Colin Gough, the wildlife crime co-ordinator for the Highlands, has any links to the shooting industry?

      • 13 Mike
        August 29, 2015 at 9:30 am

        Stating the obvious – poaching has always and will always gain a strong response from the estates, whereas raptor persecution will be an integral part of some estates’ management. Therefore the fact that Police action mirrors this state of affairs can only confirm the association between the estates and the Police.

  9. 14 Douglas Malpus
    August 28, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Suspiciously covered up and not followed up. Are the police being paid off?

    • 15 Brian Robertson
      August 28, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Absolutely not. It’s one thing to be angry at the continual persecution of raptors or even at the lack of information in relation to the enquiries into same but alleging bribery and corruption is something else.

      • 16 crypticmirror
        August 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

        Yes, it would be unheard of in UK policing. /sarcasm.

      • 17 Marco McGinty
        August 28, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        And why not? The police are a corrupt institution, and there may well be individuals that are receiving backhanders, simply to cover for their landowner or gamekeeper friends. This is just another in a long line of examples where they have failed to carry out their duties in a proper manner.

        Let’s be honest, the Cawdor Estate is a shooting estate, and it is highly likely that at least one gamekeeper will be employed on this estate. A Red Kite is found poisoned on the estate, and the poison has been confirmed to be a banned substance, most likely one of those that are frequently used by gamekeepers. So could you give any reason why the police would fail to carry out a search on these premises?

        Oh, and then issuing the press release 11 months after the incident occurred (14 months after the incident in the Beauly case) can hardly be described as acceptable policing in anyone’s book. Does Police Scotland act in this way when other crimes are committed?

        • 18 Brian Robertson
          August 28, 2015 at 10:23 pm

          What an utterly stupid thing to say. Stupid because even if 1% of police were corrupt (and I don’t believe it reaches this amount) then that doesn’t amount to institutional corruption and stupid because spats such as this takes the focus of what is the real problem, the criminals that persecute raptors.

          For the record I’m a retired cop and take exception to being called corrupt; something I would have been happy to say to you in person when we spoke at Glen Turret.

          If corruption is the reason for the Black Isle disaster remaining unsolved then you better throw the Procurator Fiscal, the Crown Office and a whole range of senior police officers into this corruption scandal as well. Ridiculous!

          Also for the record, I was in favour of the SSPCA gaining ‘new powers’ in order to assist police with wildlife cases. With the reduced number of police officers on duty these days they need all the help they can get to investigate raptor persecution. I don’t believe the SSPCA dealing with these matters on their own would lead to any improvement. Would their failed investigations result in them being called corrupt.

          I won’t pass comment on the police investigations into these matters as I have no personal knowledge of same; that is my way.

          • 19 Marco McGinty
            August 29, 2015 at 8:39 pm

            Brian, I am not saying you are, or were, corrupt when you carried out your duties, and of course there are many officers, past and present, that were/are exemplary in their conduct throughout their careers, but we have to look at this objectively. Suggesting that less than 1% of police officers are corrupt, is a bit like saying that very few, if any, gamekeepers kill raptors. It’s a non-starter in my book.

            I realise that it will be difficult to have your former organisation discussed and criticised in such a way, and being a former member, you perhaps do not want see the bad side of your organisation, in much the same way as the shooting industry refuses to accept the vast criminal element within its industry, just as the RSPB does not like criticism. It’s natural.

            However, the fact remains that police corruption has been going on for decades, and we only have to look at Northern Ireland, the Met, South Yorkshire, along with many others, to see a catalogue of corrupt practices being carried out throughout the years. The following link might be worth a few minutes of your time http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9461322/the-shocking-truth-about-police-corruption-in-britain/

            In respect to raptor persecution, policing inadequacies and complete and utter failures on the investigations side of things, has been going on for decades, with many of these crimes happening on the same estates year after year. How can you possibly explain that these crime hotspots, these same estates, repeatedly manage to escape prosecution, or even any proper investigations into their criminal practices?

            I’m sure the officers involved in all of these crimes must have had some excellent policing knowledge in order to become officers in the first place, and I’m quite sure that they will have excelled in other policing matters, but whenever it comes to raptor persecution, it seems to be failure after failure, bar the token charge. Just look at the efforts involved in the poaching case further down the page, and seriously ask yourself if you could imagine such efforts being deployed in every single raptor persecution event.

            Indeed, it wasn’t that long ago, that a reported Peregrine poisoning in a raptor crime hotspot was allegedly ignored by Police Scotland and the NWCU as it “wasn’t a police matter”. Another one that cannot be dismissed as admin or procedural error, but could easily be construed as blatant, nationwide corruption. See here https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/poisoned-peregrine-found-nr-leadhills-boundary-police-response-appalling/

            It’s happening all around us, and it’s happening frequently, and therein lies another real problem. Yes, it is the criminals that are persecuting raptors, but equally as guilty (in my view) are all of those officers that are failing to carry out their duties, and allowing the criminals to get away with it.

            As for the Black Isle massacre, I honestly don’t see how you can claim that the Procurator Fiscal or the Crown Office are partly to blame for the lack of action. They need evidence to bring about criminal proceedings, but as we all know, the police have repeatedly played down the number of birds killed, they have maintained that the massacre was in fact a terrible accident, and that no raptors had deliberately been targeted.

            According to Police Scotland, it was all just a terrible accident that a well-known banned poison had been used, it was all just a terrible accident that this well-known banned poison was placed onto small bite-sized chunks of meat, and it was all just a terrible accident that these baits were liberally scattered in a relatively small area of the countryside at Conon Bridge, and it was all just a terrible accident that a large number of raptors were killed. Come on, Brian, is that not evidence of a major cover up? Surely you must see something wrong in all of that?

            As for the SSPCA, no, I don’t think that any failings on their part would see them being labelled as corrupt, because we also have to remember that the SSPCA is a relatively small charity, is wholly reliant on donations, and has a fraction of the staff that Police Scotland has. Police Scotland is funded by the taxpayer, has a wealth of resources in comparison, and is duty bound to serve the public.

            As far as raptor persecution is concerned, Police Scotland is not serving the public. We know it’s not down to a lack of resources, and we know it has nothing to do with poor training, so we have to conclude that the police are simply not interested in these types of crime, or they are deliberately failing to investigate such matters, which brings us back to my original point that corruption is being practiced in policing circles.

          • 20 heclasu
            August 31, 2015 at 3:57 pm

            Depends how you define ‘corruption’ Brian. If you mean the kind where an officer receives a bribe or backhander, then you are possibly right! Certainly I did not come across any corruption of this nature when I served in the police. But, if you also include the kind where, for instance, an officer is offered and accepts or, perhaps, solicits a free meal at the local kebab house then, in my experience, you are talking about considerably more than one percent! This is all corruption in my view and I consider that the latter kind I have described is prevalent in Scotland with regards to estates and wildlife crime. After all, there are no kebab houses where I Iive so the odd haunch of venison or wagon load of peat would come in very handy!

      • 21 George
        August 28, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        How many ex-policemen are involved in the shooting and maintain old ties. I know of many around where I live. There are good and conscientious police too but it only takes a little cabal to be operating and the whole thing goes bad. Wealthy landowners can oil many wheels and some even have the power to ensure gongs are handed out too. We know how power works in such a hierarchical system.

        • 22 Flash
          August 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm

          And most of us know of occasions when someone has gone to the police to report a dodgy looking trap, or whatever, but later, when they accompany the police to the location of the trap, it has magically disappeared. Handy things, telephones.

  10. 23 Chris Roberts
    August 28, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I no longer have any faith in Police Scotland with regard to wildlife crime and not a lot of faith left in the SNP government. It is no wonder kites, buzzards and other BOP are seldom seen in the Cairngorms and surrounding area any longer. Killing estates and their gamekeepers are winning the battle in eradicating Scotland of its wildlife.

  11. 24 steve macsweeney
    August 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    We keep saying it. Some of these gamekeepers don’t give a flying **** for the British law, they are their own lawmakers. This will never change until custodial sentencing is the mandatory consequence of these crimes.

  12. 25 Marco McGinty
    August 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Come on people, you’re all jumping to the wrong conclusion here. Obviously, what happened was the poisoned kite had picked up some contaminated meat from the Red Kite feeding station at Tollie, then flew to the Cawdor Estate to die. It was just another terrible accident. Just like all those killed at Conon Bridge. Purely accidental.

    As has been mentioned elsewhere on this page, these incidents, along with the Conon Bridge fiasco (and a host of others where the police have failed dismally), must surely be seen as perfect examples of why the SSPCA must be given new powers to investigate wildlife crimes. Police Scotland (and its various regional predecessors) has clearly shown that they are not fit for purpose when it comes to wildlife crime, so it is time that the Scottish Government awarded the SSPCA with those additional powers.

    • 26 nirofo
      August 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Marco, for the police to fail dismally it means they must have at least attempted to do something constructive, I would have to say in the instance you mention and many more I can think of, they have done absolutely “SOD ALL”.

  13. 28 nirofo
    August 28, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Now that Sir Stephen House, the Chief Constable for Police Scotland has resigned then maybe his successor whoever that is, will be more vigilent (if that’s the right word) and pro-active where wildlife crime is concerned, let’s face it he doesn’t have to do a great more to be an improvement on his predecessor. Perhaps he should start off by buying a new whip and learn to crack it more often to try and instill some movement from his lack lustre police officers.

  14. 30 Dave Mitchell
    August 28, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    All very well swingeing about game creepers and dead raptors .How about a bit of fight fire with fire.I am actively doing something regarding a local shooting estate.For obvious reasons I cannot mention the estate nor what I am doing,legally,I hasten to add, but taking a back seat and not responding with two fingers up to these arseholes basically plays into their hands.If I had an opportunity to tell what I do,and believe me ,it is effective,then you should think more about being pro active rather than tell each other how pissed off you are with things.Let me give you a clue.Did you know ,for instance,that you can xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx.Start thinking about a new approach to What goes on , on these estates and stand up and fight back.Luckily the laws of the land are gradually falling in our favour but these are slow.Direct action is faster.Find the bottle to face up to the game creepers I did fairly recently and believe me they only have to make one mistake and they ,and their landlords can be brought to account.think about it rather than moan about it.

    • 31 Flash
      August 28, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Well said, but I wish I could see what was behind all the xxxxxxxxs!

      • 32 Mike
        August 29, 2015 at 9:44 am

        Well RPS, having edited that comment beyond a point where we can understand it, you are the only folk who can assess whether there is anything in Dave Mitchell’s approach of relevance to the rest of us and the current state of affairs?

        We are reliant on you to spill some beans if appropriate!

    • 33 Anand Prasad
      September 2, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Dave, if you want to get your message across you need to post it somewhere else with a link or some search words to your link. Many of us would like to hear your ideas but not if they put this site at risk.

  15. 34 I C T
    August 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Police Scotland have acted like the Keystone Cops regarding wildlife crime investigation. It’s time for the SSPCA to take over.yy

  16. 35 Carrie
    August 28, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Speaking of Conon Bridge and lack of police information, here’s yet another article stating the number of dead birds at 12 kites and 4 buzzards (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-34072580). The police are happy to use these numbers themselves, when wasn’t it 16 and 6 that were found? The police don’t seem to want to give accurate information about actual number of birds that were found in the area and time of the poisoning.

    Oh, and Cawdor are quoted in that article as denying the bird was even found on their land.

    Fantastic policing.

  17. 37 crypticmirror
    August 28, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    How come it took a year for this to be publicised, but when (allegedly) some chavs shot a seagull with an air rifle on an industrial estate in Dumfries on Monday they got it to press within 4 days?

  18. August 29, 2015 at 3:40 am

    This is why Scotland needs land reform because these people killing our raptors are maintaining the desolation and death across ecosystems.

  19. 39 NorthernDiver
    August 29, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Bowland – http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/four-arrests-in-estate-clampdown-1-7405677

    Yet no action on “Sky” & “Hope” shootings and the “disappearance” of 4 male HH’s this year. Ex-policemen in Lancashire are in Bowland shooting syndicates and an ex-Wildlife Crime Officer is now an employee of BASC & a current wildlife officer is in business as ammunition supplier & “vermin” controller ….and on & on.

    Is there any prospect of raptor crime being investigated properly in Bowland, do you think??

    • 40 Me
      August 30, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Totally agree with you.They are willing to investigates the ” criminal damage” but not the killing of a protected speicies( it’s protected for a reason) and how did they come by their evidence,surely not by extra “surveillance ” or ,dare I say,CCTV footage or did the culprits put their hands up to it.Very strange how inquires can be carried out for one crime but not another !!!!!!
      As for these ex-police officers ,we see them for what they are and their ” friends ” in their social network see them for what they are,themselves.To mix with sxxx you have to be a sxxx .

  20. 41 Jack Snipe
    August 30, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Why censor Dave Mitchell’s suggestion? He seemed to be implying that he was doing nothing unlawful, but had a practical suggestion as to how we might take action against the real law-breakers. Okay, anything verging on vigilantism might be a bit dodgy, but aren’t we intelligent enough to make that decision ourselves? I don’t like censorship, particularly when it works against people who are attempting to right a wrong. RPS seems to do it far too often.

  21. 43 Jack Snipe
    August 31, 2015 at 2:16 am

    No need to be so grumpy – I was only asking! I think you’re doing a fantastic job, but can’t you take an extremely mild piece of criticism?

    • August 31, 2015 at 10:23 am

      What do you expect? We spend five years of our lives putting in hours and hours and hours of thought, effort and work into exposing the criminals and then you come along and accuse us of too much censorship?! You’re having a bloody laugh.

      • 45 Mike
        August 31, 2015 at 8:42 pm

        We support and applaud the massive effort it is taking to keep us informed, you’re doing a tremendous job!

        We find it so frustrating and are desperate for any way that we can take some actions and let’s face it most of us will have thought of actions, legal and otherwise, so it is no surprise that we clamour for a new idea when one crops up.

        I think it is also apparent that your censorship is always wisely administered! So back to the status quo!

        But thanks anyway.

      • 50 Jack Snipe
        September 1, 2015 at 1:56 am

        You’re over-reacting. You know nothing about me or the 40+ years of work I’ve put in to similar causes. I can’t believe you’re willing to alienate one of your most active supporters by being so rude and obnoxious! You know who I am, and I think I’ve just worked out who you are. Give us a break. I did say you’re doing a fantastic job – is that not superlative enough? Don’t believe the back stabbers, they’ve got it completely wrong.

        • 51 nirofo
          September 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          I’ve been at the thick end of RPS censorship on severeal occasions, and yes, it can be frustrating, especially when the jist of the post is lost through editing. However, after the initial annoyance has worn off and you’ve settled down to think about it you realise that sometimes you’re better off keeping your keyboard finger away from the keyboard until you’ve really thought through what you want to say online. I know it’s not easy to do when you’re so riled up over the latest raptor persecution atrocity news flash, I’m still guilty from time to time, I get carried away by saying things that you know are factual and correct but should have been reworded so that it will be acceptable to publish.

          Just don’t take it to heart, RPS are doing a good job and are starting to make a difference, they need all of us to keep on backing them until all wildlife persecution is a thing of the past.

        • 52 M J Dorman
          September 2, 2015 at 8:28 am

          I don’t believe anyone’s been rude or obnoxious. It’s a pity you feel so hard done by over such a trivial issue. ‘Censorship’ is a ridiculous term to use here, surely it’s common-sense moderation. If you ran a blog or website, and the buck stopped with you, then it’d be in your interests to keep tight control of anything that crossed (or even went near) the line. You clearly haven’t understood the hosts’ legal responsibilities. It’s not over-reaction at all. There must be a great many organisations who would love to see this blog disappear. Allowing all unedited comments would surely hasten that, because folk would get carried away and start advocating potentially illegal activities.

          Throwing a wobbly and threatening to have ‘worked out who you are’ is shameful. First, accept that this isn’t your blog, and that they have a very good reason to moderate is as they see fit. Then, apologise for your rant and move on.

  22. 53 sammy dyer
    August 31, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    One if the main problems is that despite police scotland proclaiming wildlife crime is a priority , they have obvious difficulty tackling the problem on the ground.

    Its easy to claim ‘everything is a priority’ when this obviously is not the case. Investigations appear to be be lip service if they happen at all. How much wildlife crime are police scotland sweeping under the carpet.

    Senior positions are clearly not supervising investigations on a regular basis and appear to become involved only when the media show any interest.

    This situation allows wildlife crime officers who are either not up to the job or worse have any conflict of interest to remain in position resulting little or no enforcement action.

    Ask yourself ,when was the last time you heard of a large scale search of a shooting estate/ grouse moor?…. it’s been a very long time indeed.

    Has wild crime simply disappeared in the borders, tayside, inverness shire etc etc etc. we all know it is still there and this is borne out by the missing populations of raptors and protected predatory mammals.

    Where are the others SNH or NWCU? NWCU what a complete waste of taxpayers money…..

    Change is needed and it should start with honesty and transparency.

  23. August 31, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Two points

    1, Your headline could easily read “two red kites poisoned & shot in the highlands : get your act together scottish government”

    2 Keep up the great work

  24. 55 james
    October 13, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I have noticed two pairs of red kites missing by the dronorch firth

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