Some very good news!
Police Scotland has issued the following statement this afternoon:
A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a sparrowhawk in Inverness-shire.
Officers were called to land south of Inverness following a report of a bird of prey which had been killed on Thursday, 16 September.
The man has been charged with wildlife crime offences following a police investigation and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
Detective Chief Superintendent Laura McLuckie, Police Scotland’s lead for wildlife crime, said: “We are committed to tackling wildlife crime in the Highlands and work closely with a range of partners to ensure all incidents are thoroughly investigated.
“We know this is an issue which concerns many people in communities across the region and I would encourage anyone who has concerns about wildlife crime in their area to call Police Scotland on 101.”
As the individual has now been charged no more can be said about this prosecution until court proceedings commence. Suffice to say this case will be of significant interest to readers of this blog and, I dare say, Government officials. I’ll be following it closely.
Well done to the police wildlife crime officers in the Highland division of Police Scotland – the charging of this man is as a result of some top-level police work, with officers responding at significant speed. That they’ve also produced a press statement is excellent.
Compare and contrast with the frankly pathetic response of wildlife crime officers in the Tayside division in relation to the shot peregrine and illegally trapped long-eared owl that I’ve been blogging about this week (see here and here).
This inconsistency of approach is hugely frustrating and I hope will be addressed by senior officers responsible for dealing with wildlife crime at a national level.
UPDATE 7th September 2022: Court hearing delayed for Scottish gamekeeper accused of killing sparrowhawk (here)
UPDATE 11th November 2022: Court hearing delayed again for Scottish gamekeeper accused of killing sparrowhawk on grouse moor (here)