Earlier last year Derbyshire Constabulary appealed for information after a pair of peregrines in the Peak District abandoned their breeding attempt in suspicious circumstances (see here).
It was later reported that eggs had been stolen from three peregrine nest sites in the Peak District this spring (see here) and officers from Derbyshire Constabulary believed they were being stolen for the Middle Eastern falconry trade.
[Peregrine photo by Barb Baldinger]
Earlier this evening Derbyshire Constabulary issued a statement on Facebook, as follows:
Things sometimes take a while to come to fruition in our job, but two of our lengthy investigations have finally reached the point where people can be charged and summoned to court to answer for their actions.
The first involves the theft from a farm in the Bradwell area of a collection of vintage tractor parts which were part of a long-term project and labour of love on the part of the owner. Many of the parts were recovered and a salvage business underpinned by crime operating in neighbouring South Yorkshire was uncovered. The recovery of some stolen car parts from Buxton was a bonus too.
Our regular followers will know that we’ve invested a lot of time and effort into the problem of bird of prey persecution and trying to fathom where these illegally taken eggs are ending up and who’s involved. We were very pleased, therefore, back in the spring when we were presented with excellent video evidence of someone taking some peregrine falcon eggs from a breeding site in the Peak District. Thanks to the power of social media helping to identify the suspect we embarked on another long investigation which has now yielded charges, not only for the egg taking offences but for a firearms offence too.
Whilst this is very encouraging for us and those others we work with it doesn’t mean we’ve cracked it. Quite the opposite, in fact, and we’ll be putting next season’s plan together over the coming weeks.
Well done, Derbyshire Constabulary.
Shame the RSPB wasn’t credited for providing the covertly-filmed footage, though.
NB: As this is a live prosecution comments won’t be published until criminal proceedings have concluded.
UPDATE 17 November 2020: Derbyshire man due in court in February for alleged theft of Peregrine eggs in Peak District (here)