As we rapidly approach 2019 I thought it was timely to draft another quick blog post to keep you all updated. Since my last blog at the end of November I have continued to work tirelessly to raise awareness of the raptor persecution issue both within UK Policing but also the wider public.
I have recently had articles agreed for submission in Police Professional and Policing Insight, two well-regarded law enforcement publications, to ensure this important issue is kept on the minds of those involved in making critical resource deployment decisions. At a time when policing faces funding cut backs it is vital that the scale of the persecution issue is widely known, so that resource allocation decisions are made against this backdrop. I have also been in consultation with leading shooting publications and hope to have articles published early in the New Year.
Following the Persecution Workshop I chaired in London recently I have been working hard to refine the first draft action plan following feedback from members of the RPPDG. This will be an ongoing process I am sure but there are some really meaningful and progressive concepts that need greater discussion and progression.
I am confident that by the time I chair my first PDG meeting on 16th January that I will have a really task orientated document to share and take forward, a real focus for the group and something that we can all be held accountable for delivering. To give readers a flavour for some of the key strands of work I am looking for the PDG to take forward immediately are as below
1. With the support of North Yorkshire Police, developing the WWF award winning `Operation Owl` into a national media campaign focused on raptor persecution. I plan for this will be supplemented by a new raptor persecution website that will contain key information, materials and updates from the PDG.
2. The creation of an Enforcement Group that will focus on partnership working and the `Achilles Heel` approach to tackling head-on those people that are known or strongly suspected to be involved in persecution offences. Creation of a hostile environment for those committing persecution offences.
3. Working with technology providers, for example What3Words, to support the activity strands of the PDG. I hope for this to also include working with satellite tag providers to ensure the very best technology is helping us combat persecution offences.
4. Increased awareness and training for those involved in Wildlife Crime investigations, including police officers, force control rooms and partnership investigators.
I am delighted that a number of organisations not currently represented on the PDG have been in contact to ask how they can contribute to this important issue, I hope to be able to report some really positive developments here very soon, and for those organisations to support me in delivering against the plan by becoming members of the PDG.
Working together, with new partners and old, we will make raptor persecution a thing of the past.
I will sign off this blog now by wishing you all a Happy New Year, here’s to 2019 being a successful one for everyone, but most importantly lets work together to ensure 2019 is the `Year of the Raptor`.