8th August 2018
The suffering of the Peregrine in the RSPB blog is barbaric and abhorrent. The Moorland Association condemns any incident of raptor persecution and the stamping out of wildlife crime is a shared goal across many countryside organisations that is making progress. We wholeheartedly support the police in their investigations where wildlife crime is suspected.
In this instance, the CPS was left with no choice but to abandon the case after the judge discredited the evidence and said that investigating officers had acted in a ‘clandestine and irregular way’ and ‘outwith their remit.’ She also said that obtaining covert camera footage without consulting the police was ‘wholly irregular’. It was made clear in this case that video footage was covertly filmed without reference to the police.
It is quite clear from the judge’s remarks that she felt RSPB cannot ride roughshod over the correct way to gather evidence. In this case, the actions of the RSPB let everyone down by acting as a law unto themselves.
This is not the first time a case has been dropped due to RSPB mishandling an investigation. There has been recent criticism from the police, the Crown Office in Scotland and, now, a District Judge in England. Undermined investigations are not only a waste of time for police and prosecution authorities and of public money, but do nothing to eradicate wildlife crime