Police raid pigeon fanciers in England and Wales in peregrine persecution investigation

Yesterday saw a coordinated multi-agency raid on the homes of four pigeon fanciers during an investigation into alleged peregrine persecution.

The investigations took place in the following regions: Avon & Somerset, South Wales, Northumbria and the West Midlands. Police with search warrants were aided by investigators from the RSPB, RSPCA, Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales. A 47 – year old man is reported to have been arrested at one of the locations in connection with evidence that was seized during the raid.

RSPB press release here

Let’s hope these raids end with a better result than a recent prosecution in Scotland, where an individual was charged with the alleged illegal use of a Larsen trap at a pigeon loft. Unfortunately, the case became time barred under Scottish law (meaning the prosecution evidence wasn’t presented in time) and therefore the case wasn’t heard in court.

7 thoughts on “Police raid pigeon fanciers in England and Wales in peregrine persecution investigation”

    1. Nirofo, do you ever stop to think before you post your comments on here? Occasionally your comments are constructive or insightful, but mostly they are not, and it seems as though you are commenting just for the sake of commenting. We welcome comments on this blog, but yours are becoming, frankly, tedious.

      Take your above comment as an example. As you well know, the police can only get search warrants if there is enough evidence of an alleged crime. They can’t just raid someone’s house on a whim. That four different properties, in four different regions, have been raided in this recent coordinated effort, is an indication of some serious background investigative efforts, on the part of the police and the other agencies involved. We would be the first to agree that the police (and other agencies) do not always get it right, and those shortcomings should be highlighted. But, in the cases where they are clearly making an effort, as in this one, they deserve to be acknowledged and credited for that effort.

      1. Yes, I stop to think of the number of Peregrine eyries I have seen persecuted year after year to the extent that the birds were never managing to rear young to flying stage, these incidents were reported to the appropriate authorities at the time with no action taken. These are not just random eyries, they are the same ones year after year! It shouldn’t be beyond the guile to setup up watches on these nest sites at the appropriate time and apprehend the culprits, (some of whom were known). Unfortunately nearly all the sites where these incidents were taking place no longer have Peregrines.

        I’m sorry you think some of my comments are worthless, at least I care enough about the plight of our Raptors to make the effort, it’s a pity a few more don’t care the same.

      2. That’s a very fair comment.
        Yes raptor persecution is a very serious crime and the vast majority of pigeon fanciers are bird lovers and to be quite honest, would not stoop to these measures.
        Individuals that do, are not a true representative of the pigeon fancy on the whole and maybe account for one in every ten thousand.
        Ok there is a problem with racing pigeons being attacked by birds of prey. This is not a new problem and it has been happening for well over twenty years.
        So not lets get ahead of ourselves here and just stop and think for a moment.
        If 46000 pigeon fanciers were to be involved with this very despicable activities, then I think that this would would have a more serious impact and certainly would become extremely evident.
        The arrests and the allegations made against these men, and one was in fact a pensioner is his late Seventies, were from comments made on an internet forum, so no real intelligence work there as these are open forums.

  1. This rebuke is really welcomed. To many readers it may seem at times as if this website would be more appropriately named Police Persecution Scotland. You are absolutely correct in what you say about the difficulty in obtaining search warrants: they are not handed out without the necessary current intelligence. Nor do police wildlife crime officers always get it right, but I can assure you that they try damned hard to do so. Scotland now has a network of well-trained, dedicated wildlife crime officers, supported in most forces by a senior officer, and now ably supported by two procurators fiscal who are full-time specialists on environmental and wildlife crime and who train with and regularly liaise with the police wildlife crime officers. All of this is backed up by a high level quarterly tasking meeting at which all of these police officers, fiscals, the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit and certain others look at ways of better enforcing a range of wildlife laws and, equally importantly, reducing the incidence of wildlife crime. None of the wildlife crimes are more difficult to enforce than those committed against birds of prey, which is why people who regularly criticise police officers working their socks off to make a difference, often in really frustrating circumstances, would be much better employed supporting them, and remembering that the common enemy is the wildlife criminal.
    Alan Stewart

    1. I’m pleased to hear that Scotland now has a network of well-trained, dedicated wildlife crime officers, supported in most forces by a senior officer and police wildlife crime officers, I personally have no axe to grind with anyone dedicated enough to take the task of preventing wildlife crime seriously and I welcome this with open arms. As I have said previously this has not always been the case and people can’t be blamed for being a bit sceptical, especially when they have first hand experience and many years of working with Raptor protection and have seen the majority of tricks the Raptor persecutors get up to to avoid being detected at it. I trust by what you have stated that we can now expect action from the appropriate bodies when we report a case of Raptor persecution crime.

  2. Hey Guys lets not fall out with ourselves. We are all on the same side, the side of the Raptors. Yes we get frustrated when things don’t work out the way we want or when Police, Courts make mistakes. We all want the criminals caught and given hefty sentences to deter the others. We will get there maybe not in our lifetime but through blogs like this we help to bring it to the general publics attention, not just here but all over the world. I get angry and frustrated just like Nirofo but always think who may be reading this, i.e. Gamekeepers, Estate managers and Land Owners and I for one don’t want there kind getting any satisfaction out of reading this. So lets work together for the sake of the Raptors. Support each other and to those with the real power to arrest these criminals, please try not to make mistakes and do your best to prosecute the b*****d’s At least Allan Stewart’s explanation of how things are supposed to work now has been helpful. Hopefully things will now begin to improve with more Raptor Persecutors getting caught.

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