On 15th March this year, the RSPB tweeted that there’d been a multi-agency raid on two properties in Lincolnshire in connection with the poisoning of a red kite in 2020. Lincolnshire Police, supported by the National Wildlife Crime Unit, Natural England and the RSPB’s Investigations team, reportedly seized substances that were sent off for toxicology (see here).
[Multi-agency partnership working in Lincolnshire in March 2021. Photo by RSPB]
Today, Lincolnshire Police have issued the following press statement:
Investigation launched into suspected bird poisoning
Last year a Red Kite was found dead by a member of the public on a piece of land in the Crowland area.
The bird was sent off for forensic toxicology tests through the government Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS). The result of this analysis has been returned to us and indicates that the bird was poisoned.
Following this result, Lincolnshire Police Wildlife Crime officers, along with partner agencies including the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), Natural England and the RSPB, have been involved in a detailed investigation and two searches have been carried out at addresses in the Crowland area under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
During these searches, items have been recovered which are believed to have been linked to this offence, including some suspected banned pesticides. Investigations are ongoing and two people have been identified in relation to this and they will be spoken with in due course.
Detective Constable Aaron Flint, Officer in the case has said: “Raptor Persecution is one of the UK’s National wildlife crime priorities and is taken very seriously by Lincolnshire Police. These offences will always be dealt with expeditiously and robustly. Deliberate killing of birds of prey is an offence which I urge the public to report if they become aware of it.
“I would like to add, that if a bird of prey is found dead and you believe it is suspicious it should be reported to the police immediately to allow an investigation into its death to commence. The bird may have been poisoned which poses obvious health and safety concerns if handled. Providing the police with the What3words location would be extremely useful when reporting an incident”.
Guy Shorrock, senior Investigations officer with the RSPB, added: “Though raptor persecution data for 2020 has not yet been collated, the number of online reports relating to confirmed incidents and police follow up action around the UK indicate this problem is clearly not going away”
Lincolnshire police would like to remind the public that any offences or information they come across can be reported via 999 (for urgent matters) or 101 for other non-urgent matters or visit the Lincolnshire police website to report it online.
This is good stuff from Lincolnshire Police. Strong partnership-working with specialist agencies for the follow-up raids and a clear statement about what the investigation is about and its current status.
Let’s hope these efforts result in a prosecution and conviction.