By Natalie Wakefield
Poaching and badger baiting are among crimes to be targeted as Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles examines a report into wildlife crime this week.
An in-depth study of wildlife crime in the county was presented to the commissioner on Monday.
The report, which will be considered at a meeting of the Commissioner and Chief Constable’s Strategic Governance Board, reveals there have been approximately 200 incidents linked to wildlife issues during the past 12 months, a large proportion of which relate to poaching incidents. The figures, however, could be just the tip of the iceberg as many wildlife offences are not recordable crimes and the only means of capturing them is the force incident recording system.
The report comes just weeks after a join operation between Staffordshire and Derbyshire police targeting poachers on the River Dove at Mayfield.
The report, which will be fed into the Summit and includes supporting research from the RSPCA and the RSPB, raises concerns about the serious consequences of raptor persecution on populations of birds of prey within the Peak District National Park and its borders with Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. Species such as goshawks, peregrines, hen harriers and buzzards are all experiencing a catastrophic decline in numbers and there have been numerous examples of nests failing inexplicably despite suitable nesting habitat. Scientific evidence and past police investigations indicates that human interference at the nest or the killing of one or both of the adults is most likely responsible. More....