Supt Nick Lyall’s plans to tackle raptor crime unaffected by disruptive ploy

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.

18 thoughts on “Supt Nick Lyall’s plans to tackle raptor crime unaffected by disruptive ploy”

  1. In my view it is a badge of honour that these organisations are boycotting the group. After all Mark Avery had been trying to persuade the same groups to participate in reasoned discussion for years without success. More power to your elbow Mr. Layall.

  2. Well done every body , let them stamp their feet , as far as I remember it does not get you anywhere , just a bit embarrassing. Keep up this great work.

  3. Its encouraging to know that there is now serious intent to deal with the thugs whole have terrorised our countrysides wildlife for decades with their barbaric crimes. For what? Shooting grouse & alien pheasants & partridges for fun.

  4. I know he has a long way to go but if we can get someone with Mr Lyall’s resolve involved in enforcing the Hunting with Hounds Act our foxes, hares, deer and otters could rest a little easier.

  5. I have to admit to struggling with all the endless acronyms, councils, units, groups, sub groups, trusts, etc. It makes for awkward reading about a subject that is essentially plain, i.e. GOOD versus EVIL. One has to wonder if there are too many cooks.
    I hope that time does not run out for our wildlife.

  6. An encouraging beginning, I look forward to their next meeting in April and if BAWC etc. join the group the extra acronyms will be welcome FFS.😀

  7. I once challenged a manager in the “any questions” bit of a meeting about the almost 50 acronyms and abbreviations he had used. Nick’s blog started to head me in that direction but in the end there was only one that totally lost me, PDG but thanks for sorting that out in the remaining RPUK blog. Oops!

    The gamekeeper walk out says it all.


  8. He’s not letting them take the piss! I hope for his stance he’s as well respected within the police service, as he’s respected out of it, well by us lot at least. An exceptional officer and bloke, how many have there been before that put their foot down like this?

  9. Isn’t it just positive and encouraging when you get a touch of transparency, commitment and responsibility coming to the fore. That right should prevail and the law of the land be upheld, and that the framework being worked on is explained. Thank you Nick Lyall and thank you for fair coverage of the subject RPUK.

  10. I still have doubts about accountability of the NPCC, especially after the behaviour of ACPO. But we shall see

  11. I have absolutely no faith what so ever in the ability of the judiciary to actually implement the letter of the law – Nick Lyall and co need to put their shoulder to the wheel on this. We have heard all this process driven, acronym laden nonsense for decades – our birds of prey are regularly the subject of crimes against them, which on the rare occasion where they make their way to court, attract sentences which in no way reflect either the severity of the crime or the law. itself.

  12. It’s laughable really, because they are not getting their own way they walk out, they would happily rumble on for another ten years talking shite and doing nothing and the killing would continue, let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for these sad losers.

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