In mid-August we blogged about a shot peregrine that had been found critically injured in Gloucestershire and was later euthanised due to the extent of its injuries (see here).
[The shot peregrine, photo from Vale Wildlife Hospital]
There was very little information available about this crime at the time but now Gloucestershire Police are appealing for witnesses.
The shot peregrine was found near Northleach in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Anyone with information is urged to contact PC Ashley Weller on 101, quoting incident # 349/16/08.
One thought on “Shot peregrine in Gloucestershire – an update”
I do fail to understand why at the the time of the incident, or in the days immediately afterwards there isn’t a media appeal from the police requesting anyone with information come forward.
There is no need to delay this appeal pending a post mortem report.
All information received will lead to a full understanding of what has taken place, which can help decide whether to progress an investigation or not.
It is well known that witnesses to an event are more likely to respond to a witness appeal immediately after an event, and whilst the incident is fresh and important in their mind.
With the passage of time the importance of an event diminishes often to the point that it becomes insignificant, which can effect a persons motivation to provide information.
The passage of time also means a witness can often forget detail, or the memory can be corrupted due to the brain processing the events into a logical explanation of the event, rather than what the witness actually saw.
Whilst it is important not to overload the public with witness appeals, and “cry wolf” every time a bird is found in circumstances where death is most likely from natural causes.
Surely, where a bird has been found injured or dead in suspicious circumstances, this will be known within a matter of hours, and that is when the media appeal should take place.
Not weeks later when a potential witness may well no longer be shocked, angry or upset with what they saw, and the desire to provide information to bring an offender to justice has diminished.
I sometimes get the feeling that police really do need to “up their game” when it comes to wildlife crime.
Whilst some constabularies appear quite pro active, others don’t seem to have that enthusiasm.
I don’t know if the police have national guidelines or best practice when conducting wildlife investigations- but maybe they should?
SEPRONA, the Spanish Environmental Police are one of the few specialised forces in Europe fighting wildlife crime, and is recognised as an example of good practice.
Maybe its time the UK Association of Chief police Officers (ACPO) looked at how SEPRONA operates and introduced best practice to the UK?