09
Nov
15

Peregrine poisoned in Shropshire blackspot: police appeal 5 months later

Peregrine male poisoned at Cleehill 2015 Shorrock2 - CopyWest Mercia Police have issued an appeal for information following the discovery of a poisoned peregrine.

The male bird was found dead in a quarry at Clee Hill, Shropshire. This is a well-known persecution blackspot, with two peregrines poisoned there in 2010 and another one poisoned in 2011.

The latest victim was discovered on 15th June 2015. It’s not clear why it has taken five months for the police to issue an appeal for information. This is a recurring and yet avoidable problem, e.g. see here and here for two other recent examples of long delays before the police ask for help with investigations into raptor persecution crimes. It’s just not good enough.

The RSPB and the Shropshire Peregrine Group have offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Police press release as follows:

West Mercia Police are appealing to the public for information after it was confirmed that a peregrine falcon found dead in a quarry in Clee Hill, Shropshire had been poisoned.

There have been previous problems in this area with two peregrines poisoned in 2010 and another in 2011. Over the last few years the Shropshire Peregrine Group (SPG) has been organising volunteers to keep an eye on the location. On the 15 June this year a volunteer reported a dead adult male peregrine at the base of the breeding cliff. The body was recovered by the RSPB and passed to Natural England in order that toxicology tests could be arranged. These have since confirmed the bird was poisoned by diazinon, the same product as in previous incidents.

Peregrines are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and anyone convicted of killing these birds could receive up to six months in prison and/or a fine.

The RSPB and the SPG have offered a reward of £1000 for information leading to the conviction of anyone involved in this incident.

John Turner of the SPG said: “This is yet another tragic incident at this site. The female parent also disappeared and we are concerned she may have also been poisoned. The situation was made even worse as the two chicks in the nest also died with the loss of the parents.”

Wildlife Crime Officer for West Mercia Police, Constable Julian Ward said: “There have been previous incidents in this area and the illegal use of poison poses a risk to wildlife and to people. We believe somebody in the local community will have information about who is involved and we would urge them to contact police.”

Information can be reported to West Mercia Police on 101 quoting reference 649S of the 15/06/2015. You can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers UK or 0800 555 111

END

Photos of the poisoned peregrine by RSPB (G Shorrock)

Peregrine male poisoned at Cleehill 2015 Shorrock1 - Copy

 

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11 Responses to “Peregrine poisoned in Shropshire blackspot: police appeal 5 months later”


  1. 1 nirofo
    November 9, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Here we go again, will the police ever get it right, or is it another case of it being deliberately held back until any possible evidence will have disappeared by the time they release it. Either way, the police once again manage to instil no confidence in their willingness to even try to catch these raptor persecuting criminals !!!

  2. 2 Tony Warburtopn MBE
    November 9, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    P = Police = Pathetic. 5 months and they expect information! Have they visited the nearest pigeon lofts to search for poisons? No, I thought not.

  3. 3 Jack Snipe
    November 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Are the police immune from Freedom of Information requests? Has anyone actually asked them why these delays occur?

  4. 4 Richard Towers
    November 10, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Given that diazinon is an insecticide, I would rather believe that these are accidental poisonings over “persecution”, particularly given the level of arable farming in that area.

    • 5 Jack Snipe
      November 12, 2015 at 3:44 am

      Is it really likely that a Peregrine, and possibly its mate as well, would consume a lump of diazinon, either intentionally or accidentally? That’s stretching the imagination.

  5. November 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Sorry Richard I have to disagree, I have knowledge of what has been going on at Clee Hill, it has been going on for years, this was no accident believe me. Shame on the police for waiting this long to appeal for help, as Tony says it is pathetic and also very sad.

  6. 7 Robert Shaw
    November 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    It is no surprise given how hopelessly inefficient the police are unless they are being pushed by politicians such as Tom Watson MP

  7. 8 Marco McGinty
    November 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    This is no way directed at Julian Ward, but the police statement might as well have read as “We have a very good idea who is doing this, but as the criminal is a friend of ours, we simply can’t be arsed to do anything about this type of illegal activity, so just fuck off you tree-hugging bores. Don’t you realise that there are car owners with faulty lights, or other people that take recreational drugs? These are far more serious offences, and it also means that we don’t have to do as much work to reach our targets.”

    • 9 nirofo
      November 13, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Marco, that’s almost poetic, it should be pinned on every police station bulletin board before being entered in their training manual.

  8. 10 Worcs. Birder
    November 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I haven’t logged on to RPS for a few weeks, so have only just read this post. I feel sick to my stomach, as I know Clee Hill and it’s peregrines very well, and watched this very bird or its mate earlier this year.

    This area is full of inbreds. Think dualling banjos and cross eyes. They’ll know who did this, but the conspiracy of silence is as strong and inbuilt as on any council estate.

    I completely agree with Chrissie’s comments. I’m sorry Richard but you are naïve if you think this poisoning or any of the previous ones were “accidental”

    Somebody should stop this bastard before he kills anymore of our beautiful peregrines. You must be psychotic to kill a peregrine to protect a few stupid fat pigeons.


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