Following on from Saturday’s blog post about the poisoned peregrine that was found in the Leadhills area and the appalling response from the police (see here), we expected to read some official statements today from the likes of Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, PAW Scotland, Police Scotland, National Wildlife Crime Unit, Scottish Land & Estates, the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association etc etc.
Here’s what we found:
Why did we expect a response? Well, partly because of all the rhetoric we’ve been fed over the past few years about how stamping out wildlife crime is a priority for Police Scotland, for the Government, for SLE, for the SGA etc etc, and partly because this particular incident is number 45 on a long list of other raptor persecution incidents reported from the Leadhills area since 2003 (and we know there are many more incidents that went unrecorded because we’ve reported some of them ourselves!).
We know that over 50 of you have emailed the Minister (thank you) to demand some specific action, including an inquiry into PC Everitt’s alleged refusal to accept this incident was probably a wildlife crime, and to insist that SNH now use their new powers to restrict the use of General Licences in the Leadhills area.
The Minister has 20 working days in which to respond. For those of us who wrote to him over the weekend, that means he has to respond by 2nd May 2014. However, we know from previous incidents that the Minister usually waits until the very last day of that 20-working day period before he actually does respond. If we were cynics we would think that these delayed responses were designed to ‘wait out’ the public’s anger which will probably have subsided by the time the 20 working day deadline has expired.
We also know from past experience that the Minister will likely tell us that he can’t comment about Police Scotland procedures (e.g. “it’s a police matter and it would be inappropriate for me to comment”) and that he can’t comment about the potential withdrawal of General Licences (e.g. “it’s an SNH matter and it would be inappropriate for me to respond”).
He might surprise us but none of us are expecting him to. So, in anticipation of a feeble, question-dodging response, we thought we’d bypass him and go directly to those agencies ourselves.
If any of you are also interested in doing this, here are some useful contact details:
To find out why Police Scotland and the NWCU failed to act when this crime was reported to them, there are three key players to contact -
The Police Scotland Wildlife Crime Portfolio is led strategically by Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham. Email: Acc.CrimeMCPP@scotland.pnn.police.uk
Police Scotland Wildlife Crime Portfolio Lead Officer is Det. Sup. Cameron Cavin. Email: Cameron.Cavin@scotland.pnn.police.uk
Police Scotland Wildlife Crime Coordinator is Sgt. Andrew Mavin. Email: Andrew.Mavin@scotland.pnn.police.uk
We’re sure all three gentlemen would love to have the opportunity to explain what happened (or more to the point, why nothing happened) and how their failure to respond fits in with their much-publicised approach to tackling wildlife crime (see here for details).
To ask SNH whether they will be enacting the new enabling clause in the 2014 General Licences and thus restricting their use in the Leadhills area, contact the Chief Executive of SNH, Ian Jardine. Email: email@example.com
We’re still interested in what the Environment Minister has to say about it all, of course. For those of you who haven’t yet emailed him to demand robust action, here’s his email address: Ministerforenvironment@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
They might all think that by keeping quiet for a few days we’ll all forget about it and move on to something else. They’d be pretty stupid to think so.