Another police training event for tackling illegal raptor persecution

This seems timely given the news that one of the brood meddled hen harriers vanished in suspicious circumstances on a grouse moor in County Durham earlier in September.

From the Teesdale Mercury, 7 Oct 2019:

Fighting raptor crime soars to new heights

A CONSERVATION organisation and the police have joined forces to protect birds of prey.

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership worked with Durham Constabulary to co-host a training event aimed at raising awareness of crimes against the birds.

More than 20 officers from Durham, Northumbria, Cumbria and North Yorkshire forces attended the event.

They heard presentations from the AONB Partnership, the Northern England Raptor Forum, the RSPB investigations team and North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force.

Officers learned how to recognise raptor crime, including illegal trapping, nest disturbance, poisoning or shooting wild birds.

Chris Woodley-Stewart, director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “It is important to give police officers the knowledge and confidence to deal with raptor crimes.

Some parts of the North Pennines AONB have become something of a hotspot for this type of crime in the last ten years.

Raising awareness among police officers and the public is an important step in stamping this out.”

Insp Ed Turner, from Teesdale Police, said: “This was a great opportunity to share experiences and knowledge across the policing teams and partners that cover the northern Pennines.”

The event was supported by staff from Raby Estate who led a field visit to train officers on recognising illegal and legal traps.

John Wallis, Durham estates manager for Raby Estates, said: “We were only too pleased to support this initiative. Partnership working and closer collaboration will be vital if we are to overcome wildlife crime and other challenges in the northern uplands.

This training was part of Operation Owl, the national police operation against raptor crime.

Supt Nick Lyall, the chairwoman [?!] of the England and Wales Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group, a body set up by Defra to tackle the illegal persecution of birds of prey, said: “The ongoing persecution of our birds of prey is an issue that I am delighted partners are supporting me to address it.”


6 Responses to “Another police training event for tackling illegal raptor persecution”

  1. 1 sennen bottalack
    October 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    If legal covert action leads to prosecution all well and good !
    Current policing has utterly failed as have the courts.

    Interesting that today the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust comment on the Langholm Moor project report states in relation to Red grouse and birds of prey ;

    ” need both to be balanced ” !!!!!!!!!!

    Kind of lets the intensive grouse shoot view out of the bag ;

    For ” balanced ” in relation to birds of prey, read ” killed ” !

    There is no other possible interpretation, but then we’ve always known that…….

    Keep up the pressure !

  2. 2 TaddyOfKentoo
    October 8, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Just wonder, how many in the photo are from the shooting fraternity??

  3. 3 Rosemary Third
    October 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Please see Page 22 of our local rural magazine for the latest ‘update’ by one of our local game keepers. Unfortunately, people’s views are still being influenced and misled by this culture.


    • 4 Les Wallace
      October 8, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      Yeah pretty typical starts off with nicey, nicey wildlife stories then the propaganda gets slipped in. Trying to undermine the credibility of both mountain hare counts and sat tag evidence that’s inconvenient for estates. Nasty stuff under the rural life gloss.

    • 5 Michael Gill
      October 8, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      Your lovely Tim Frost will be pleased to hear that, while staying near Killin on holiday this summer, I came across a family of Goshawks in one of his beloved forests … I won’t tell him exactly where

  4. 6 AnMac
    October 8, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    All well and good but as someone else has commented, until we have covert surveillance on grouse moors and the staff who work in such areas it will all be a damp squib.

    We will know a change has taken place when we see the guardians of the countryside paraded before their local sheriff and convicted.

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