The RSPB Investigations team assists the statutory agencies to investigate crimes against wild birds in the UK.
Staff are based at the UK headquarters, Scottish headquarters and the Northern England Regional Office.
This blog will be used to keep you informed on key issues and court case results on a regular basis, but for legal reasons, we may only be able to report on certain aspects of our work.
If you witness a crime against a wild bird and wish to report this to the RSPB, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online form at: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reportacrime
I’m not an Investigations Officer, but I do consider myself to be in a privileged position. Late last year I became the RSPB’s Head of Species & Habitat Conservation, resulting in me taking over the responsibility for the UK Investigations team.
Now, having worked for the RSPB for over 12 years, I felt I knew what they did. But it was only when I got to see it up close that I realised the extent of what they get involved with. I think it takes a special type of person to be an investigations officer.
You really need to be dedicated (and the RSPB is full of dedicated people), but few of us would be able to withstand the rigour of what they have to do. Their duties range from covert operations - staking out a site sometime for days on end to catch a wildlife criminal in the act - assisting the police, and standing up for wildlife in court under intense cross examination.
When you talk to these guys, they’re unassuming, but their dedication and their passion shine through. They want to stop bad people doing bad things to wildlife. Repeatedly, they see bird of prey persecution up close and in the raw – a poisoned golden eagle... a shot buzzard... a trapped peregrine... the list goes on: and, that happens all-too often.
Looking over their shoulder
Of course, shooting, trapping and poisoning are just a few examples of the devastating crimes these magnificent birds face, and the people who perpetrate these crimes do it often with a sense of impunity. They think that because these birds can often occupy remote areas, their horrific crimes will be out of sight and out of mind.
Well, I’m proud to work for an organisation who has a team of dedicated investigators who ensure the criminals should always be looking over their shoulder, and an organisation which stands up for birds of prey, rare wildlife and habitats, ensuring criminality is exposed and doesn't remain ‘out of mind’.
Let us know
We receive many tip offs from the public. If you think you’ve witnessed an incident of wildlife crime, please contact us. For advice on how to report a suspected wildlife crime see our website.