Last month we blogged about how several organisations from the game shooting lobby had ‘boycotted’ a meeting of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG) in what looked like an attempt to disrupt the plans of the new Chair, Police Supt Nick Lyall (see here, here, here, here).
For the benefit of those not on social media and who may have missed it, Nick Lyall, keeping to his word about being transparent, has now written a blog about that meeting – you can read it here.
We learned a lot from his blog.
We’d always thought the RPPDG was formed in 2011, but it turns out it was actually established in 2009. So that’s ten years, not eight, of doing absolutely nothing effective to help tackle illegal raptor persecution. Marvellous.
We also learned that that the RPPDG is not the English/Welsh equivalent of the PAW Scotland Raptor Group, as we’ve often described it. The RPPDG is much more formal, and importantly, is accountable. That accountability trail is a bit difficult to follow, mainly because of the convoluted hierarchy of the police force and a bewildering number of acronyms to decipher, but the important bit is that the accountability is there.
Coincidentally, we had an enlightening conversation last week with Chief Inspector Lou Hubble of the National Willdife Crime Unit (NWCU) who also did her best to explain the accountability hierarchy – something to do with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which replaced the Association of Police Chief Officers (ACPO) and operates through the recently published NPCC Wildlife Crime Policing Strategy with a Tasking & Coordinating Group (TCG) and Priority Delivery Groups (PDG), hence Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG). If that’s inaccurate, blame us, not CI Hubble.
Still following? It’s all a bit dry, and perhaps we’ll invite Lou to write a guest blog to explain it, but she did emphasise that after all these years, this is the first time that the RPPDG can be held to account ‘officially’ and that’s what interests us most.
What else did we learn from Nick’s blog? We noticed the emphasis he’d placed on the word ‘guests‘ when referring to the ‘new’ organisations (Wildlife Trusts, Birders Against Wildlife Crime, North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) whose attendance at the meeting had triggered the orchestrated tantrum from the game shooting lobby. We also noticed that the game shooting lobby’s clear attempt at disruption had no such effect, as Nick chaired his way through an agenda that was full of progressive proposals that look like they’ll happen with or without the feet-stamping representatives of the owl-stamping criminals.
If that wasn’t a clear enough message, his penultimate comment definitely was:
“Let me close by saying this, the prevention of the ongoing and relentless persecution of OUR birds of prey has swiftly become a matter of real passion for me. Those that attempt to get in our way will just strengthen my resolve to see it end“.
Excellent stuff. Well done, Nick, you have a lot of people supporting and appreciating your efforts.