Operation Owl: national awareness campaign 21-22 Sept 2019

Operation Owl originated as a multi-agency initiative led by North Yorkshire Police in 2018, designed to raise awareness of illegal raptor persecution across the county (see here), and especially in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North York Moors National Park and the Nidderdale AONB, all known to be areas where raptor killing is rife.

Earlier this year, Police Supt Nick Lyall (Chair, Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group) took the brand and expanded it to become a national campaign, fully endorsed by the National Police Chiefs Council (see here).

As a follow on to this, in two weeks time (Sat 21 – Sun 22 Sept) there will be a nationwide raptor persecution awareness campaign under the banner of Operation Owl.

This campaign is being coordinated by Sgt Stuart Grainger, one of the leading lights of North Yorks Police Rural Task Force. In addition to inviting as many regional police forces as possible, Stu is also encouraging participation from non-police organisations and individuals.

The coordinated message from this campaign has been listed by Stu as follows:

The first seven points are uncontentious no-brainers. However, points 8 and 9 look to be clumsily expressed. Sure, educate the public on the difference between legally and illegally-set traps, that’s an important distinction, but the promotion of ‘good estate management practices’ is highly contentious. It’s that word ‘good’. Just because something is lawful doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ‘good’ and definitely shouldn’t be promoted as such by the police!

That minor point aside, this national awareness campaign deserves everyone’s full support. If you have an organisation that would like to get involved, please email Stu Grainger to help him coordinate: stuart.grainger@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you’re not part of an organisation but would still like to get involved on social media, there’s no need to sign up, just look for the #OpOwl2019 hashtags during the campaign weekend and join in!


3 Responses to “Operation Owl: national awareness campaign 21-22 Sept 2019”

  1. 1 George M
    September 8, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    One might like to assess how it actually functions as opposed to how it has been presented to the public prior to supporting them. There have been many optimistic sounding words emerging from similar sources for many years and .few gains have been made.
    On the other hand when gains are made and results made public … offenders shouldn’t be hard to catch and prosecute given they have been “untouchable” for many years and as a result can’t be at the top of their game so to speak … then I’ve no doubt the amount of support they get will be overwhelming.
    However an act of faith like the one suggested might be a step too far for many at this point in time.

    • September 8, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Your reservations are perfectly understandable, George, but this initiative is about awareness raising amongst the general public, particularly in areas where raptor persecution is rife.

      That’s worth supporting, surely?

      • 3 George M
        September 9, 2019 at 2:56 pm

        Yes, indeed …. but joint initiatives are often simply information gathering exercises for some and the creation of inter-body personal relationships designed to further whatever aims individuals might harbour. We will see how it progresses.

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