Dead raptors found in suspicious circumstances in Devon

Here’s another example of fine, proactive wildlife policing from Devon WCO Josh Marshall.

On his personal blog, which he set up specifically to raise awareness about wildlife crime in his region, Josh is reporting the discovery of a dead peregrine and a dead sparrowhawk that were found in suspicious circumstances last week. The birds were x-rayed and they hadn’t been shot, but their bodies were too decomposed to allow for any toxicology analysis.

Even though the cause of death could not be established, Josh believes that persecution had taken place due to the position of the birds.

Rather than keeping quiet and forgetting about the incident, knowing that it was going to be virtually impossible to make any more progress with the investigation, Josh chose to publicise the incident and asked people to be extra-vigilant when out walking in the area. Once again, he’s showing how suspected wildlife crimes should be handled. Well done that man.

Story on Josh’s blog here

5 thoughts on “Dead raptors found in suspicious circumstances in Devon”

  1. Thanks for the above.

    On this occasion we were able to release new relatively early on as we were confident that we had no further lines of investigation to follow and that a public/warning appeal was necessary.

    What sometimes perhaps isn’t appreciated with these types of investigation is that although we would like to put out the news ASAP it is vital that news is withheld whilst investigations are ongoing so as to not compromise certain lines of enquiry. As was the case with the Devon Goshawks last year and I’m sure other investigations that go on around the country. It can be seen as withholding information but it is purely to safeguard lines of enquiry and actions that may be ongoing.

    Cheers again

    PC 1776 Josh Marshall

    1. Thanks for the explanation Josh. I can well understand the principle (in all crimes) behind carrying out investigation secretly to avoid alerting the bad guys. However, I tend to think that in remote areas, as per many parts of the Highlands, that is virtually impossible. Communities are very close knit and news of the police turning up, for whatever reason, spreads like wild fire.

  2. Yes, very well done – I hope you’re getting the support you need from the assorted chair polishers and paper shufflers that permeate all organisations – including yours no doubt…………………..

  3. my cat as just killed a sparrow hawk in the garden. it was such an amazing site watching it been ripped apart. made a nice refreshing change it not been the hawk that was doing the killing

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