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Focus on Wildlife Crime… How To Report It

Wildlife Crime, how to report it image

The job of a Wildlife Crime Officer is not an easy one.  In addition to the huge diversity of animals, birds and plants that they may deal with every day, there is the underlying difficulty of detecting crimes against wildlife: crimes which often take place in the remote Scottish countryside and are committed against victims who cannot speak!

The (human) population in Scotland is becoming more mobile, and access to the outdoors for recreation is more readily available now than ever before, with pursuits such as mountain biking, hill walking and wildlife watching on the increase, and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code enabling a greater degree of responsible access. This presents an ideal opportunity for those who live, work or use the outdoors for recreation to help detect incidents of wildlife crime that previously may have gone unnoticed.

In recognition of this opportunity Grampian Police Wildlife Crime Unit, with a grant from The Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime Scotland (handily named PAWS for short) has developed an information card on how to report wildlife crime.

The card is intended as a pocket reference guide and includes a list of essential do’s and don’ts when at the scene of a crime.  These are particularly important because they will provide the police with all of the necessary information to deal with the crime in the most effective manner, preserve the crime scene and -perhaps most importantly- not endanger the witness or any others that may come into contact with the crime. The card includes a list of police force telephone numbers and map of all the 8 forces in Scotland.

Thirty thousand cards have been produced initially and are being distributed via both wildlife crime officers and PAW partners throughout Scotland.  It is hoped that more efficient and accurate reporting of wildlife crime will enable the police wildlife crime officers to respond to incidents in the most effective manner, and increased public awareness will act as a deterrent to those committing the crimes. Only through prompt and efficient reporting of wildlife crime that the police can measure the extent of wildlife crime in Scotland, and stamp it out for good.

You can download and print off the card here or to receive hard copies of contact Wildlife Crime Education Officer, Andy Turner by email or on 01224 304140.

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