Wild Justice meets top cops

Yesterday, the Wild Justice directors (Ruth Tingay, Chris Packham (‘fresh’ back from Baja California) and I) met Chief Inspector Louise Hubble and Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor for a chat about wildlife crime. We covered a wide range of topics which included hare coursing, raptor persecution, poaching and how the law operates. Very useful for us, and it seems for them…


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13 Replies to “Wild Justice meets top cops”

  1. 'Is poaching a wildlife crime?' is a question I've wondered many many times and still haven't really come to a satisfactory conclusion.

    Its without doubt a property crime, and it involves wildlife, but is is really a wildlife crime. This is more than a vexing esoteric brain teaser for me...if the police commit limited resources to say deer poaching then they cannot spend those resources on what I would suggest were more pressing crimes like pearl mussel fishing or raptor persecution which have a greater 'conservation' impact.

    Like with hare coursing and badger baiting, the police always reckon that poaching can lead to catching 'crims' who are engaged in a wider range of illegal activity and, while I don't doubt that's true, I'm still troubled by the use of 'wildlife crime' resources to address these crimes.

    There may be some benefit in closer liaison with gamekeepers and gillies by this approach, but there is the risk of getting too friendly with the perpetrators of other and in my view more pressing wildlife crimes. Poaching etc. can also be the gateway by which gamekeepers get onto Partnerships for action against wildlife crime (PAW), where they make hay in distracting the partnership from raptor and other more pressing wildlife crime.

    I'd like to hear a thorough and coherent and cogent argument from the police on the inclusion of poaching, because I think its in there as a wildlife crime priority only because of the organisations and representative bodies which make or made up the original PAW type partnerships.

    My own view is that this sort of property crime should be removed from the 'wildlife crime' list and added to 'rural crime' along with fuel theft, quad stealing etc. and address the limited police resources to more pressing crime with a harmful conservation impact.

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    1. From reading Alan Stewart, it can be large scale organized crime.
      Not the same as The Poaching Song by Robin Williamson

      Wake up Jamie strike a light
      For while you were lying dreaming
      I've been up the waterside
      All with the gaff and the lantern
      But the bailiff he's a restless man
      and terrible light in sleeping
      His dogs did bark and his guns did bang
      and damn but he had me running

      and if the bailie comes today
      Inquiring for a salmon
      That maybe might have swum this way
      Snagged onto someone's arm
      Just grit your teeth and squint your eyes
      He'll likely think you're smiling
      and take your hat into your hand
      and bid the man good morning
      Oh, aye, oh, aye, bid the man good morning

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      1. Invite him in for scones and tea
        and laugh at all his joking
        No need at all to let him see
        What's up the chimney smoking
        and if he should inquire for me
        For me or Johnny Brady
        We've been away working several days
        and we'll not be back till Friday
        Oh, aye, oh, aye, bid the man good morning
        Oh, aye, oh, aye, bid the man good morning

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  2. This sounds like a good and sensible thing to have done. One hopes it was very productive for all parties.

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  3. Brilliant, well done to you all. Things need to change, and soon.

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  4. Very well said, more serious crimes like Raptor Persecution should be top of there list. Just look at the HH persecution. I'm a nest recorder for the BTO NRS and know what it's like. I recorded a GE for the BTO NRS and it was a C/2 and 1 young. Went Back up "3 weeks later and chicks had gone and no eggs. They need to protect our endangered species whether it's a bird or the any other species, like the Scottish Wildcats. Absolutely pissses me off. Regards Damian

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  5. Hope they brought up that the police have still never formally apologised for the criminal assaults and criminal destruction of private property they engaged in at the Battle of the Beanfield in '85, nor the various other acts of assault and criminality that the police engage in at every other environmental protest. It makes me think less of the movement when I see it cosying up to the cops, it really does.

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    1. I too have been on protests where or witnessed the police being used as the establishments enforcers, the miners strike, the steelworkers strike before it and poll tax protests however if we are ever to solve wildlife crime problems we need them on board. In that fight they are one of our most important allies, along with public opinion. Harking back to the days when they were used ( ill/illegally used) as Thatcher's bully boys is a more than pointless exercise.

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      1. Thinking they can brush their own crimes under the carpet and all will be forgiven because "we need them" is pointless too, the police can only police by consent. I do not consent to be bullied by a force that cannot apologise for its own crimes, past and present. We're still seeing them used as enforcers for the gentry, they are still using tactics like kettling, and there are still people who are living with very real and actual disabilities caused by police violence for which there has never been an accounting. Until they can deal with their own history, then they will never get cooperation from me.

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  6. Just to be clear I'm happy that the police meet with the likes of the Moorland Association and other representatives of large estates to talk about wildlife crime as well as the likes of the RSPB. Meeting Wild Justice is an excellent addition to this, even if unexpected by me.

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