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Can You Help Operation Wingspan?

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Article by:
John Bruce, BDS Trustee Director, Scotland, British Deer Society

Operation Wingspan: A police Scotland initiative to detect and deter wildlife crime.

Police Scotland and the PAW Poaching & Coursing Priority Group are seeking your involvement in Operation Wingspan. This is a seasonal wildlife crime operation to raise awareness for various types of wildlife crimes, in the public domain and in the Police Scotland service.

Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime in Scotland, PAW, is a Scottish Government lead multi-sectorial initiative to gather interested partners in wildlife together to combine forces to detect, monitor, and minimise crimes against wildlife.

There are six priority groups that concentrate their efforts in different sectors. They then liaise through the Executive Committee to the MSP Cabinet Secretary in Parliament, the Police Scotland service, the Crown Office, Procurator Fiscal Service, (COPFS), National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), SASA forensic service, Nature Scot, SSPCA, and many other organisations.

The six priorities are:

  • Badger persecution.
  • Bat persecution.
  • Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and Fauna, (CITIES).
  • Freshwater Pearl Mussels.
  • Poaching Deer, Hares and Fish.
  • Raptor persecution.

It is now the period for raising awareness of the potential poaching of deer, hares, and fish.

John Bruce, BDS Scottish Secretary and Trustee said “the police are keen to encourage the gathering of information as well as the apprehension of active poachers. If you suspect wildlife crime, please contact 101 to report information and 999 to report ongoing incidents.’

Comprehensive data reports on wildlife crime in Scotland are reported annually. To read the reports follow the link below.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/wildlife-crime-scotland-2019-annual-report/

You can read more about poaching and why this is a wildlife crime by following the page link below:

https://www.bds.org.uk/information-advice/issues-with-deer/poaching-and-wildlife-crime/

wildlife crime

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