Have you ever witnessed a wildlife crime? Chances are you have, but just didn’t recognise it. A minority of wildlife crimes happen because those who commit the crimes simply aren’t aware they are breaking the law, but sadly most are committed by repeat offenders. Repeat offenders know exactly what they are doing and are generally driven by commercial or financial reasons.
Often repeat Wildlife Criminals get away with illegally killing or illegally disturbing our wildlife in plain sight. This is due in large to the general publics lack of knowledge, and the repeat offenders take full advantage of this.
So this is a countryside problem right? Wrong. Wildlife Crimes are not just happening in our countryside, they are an urban issue too. Illegal bird nest, bat roost and pond destruction are a few examples, some as we mentioned earlier are complete accidents (Although in the eyes of the law this is no defence!) however most are again fuelled by commercial & financial needs.
How do they get away with it? Most people don’t know what to look for or what they should do when they see a wildlife crime happening? For example how would you know if you had stumbled across a wildlife crime scene or not? Most criminals know the law so they can be pretty convincing and sneaky when it comes to covering the facts while actually breaking the law. Repeat offenders will often convince members of the public that what they are doing is not only lawful but completely normal.
The laws designed to protect our wildlife simply aren’t enough to protect it, because there simply aren’t enough eyes watching for it to become a deterrent. That’s where we all come in!
So what can we do to change this? It’s time to force repeat wildlife criminals to constantly look over their shoulders for someone, anyone who might be Wildlife Crime Aware! It’s also time to educate accidental offenders too.
We would like EVERYONE – People on their commute to work, Parents on School runs, birders, ramblers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, joggers and general outdoor lovers – to be extra an extra set ‘eyes and ears’ protecting our nations wildlife, firstly by becoming more WildlifeCrimeAware (we’ll help you do this) and secondly by making wildlife criminals feel like they’re standing out or being watched.
Add enough doubt into the equation and the few become the many in the eyes of the wrongdoers and we start to turn the tables.
So how will you help us learn about Wildlife Crime? We’ve been creating and will continue to create plain English versions of what is or isn’t a Wildlife Crime. Our help pages and info sheets include images so you have the information to hand should you need it. Most of these have been created to allow you to save them onto your mobile phone too, so you can carry the information with you at all times as a reference. You can find links to these tools in our menu.
FREE A4 PDF Printable Posters “We’re Watching!”
We’ve also created some FREE WildlifeCrimeAware A4 printable posters. These are there to protect your local wildlife by letting those people willing to break our Wildlife Laws know that there’s someone or many people in the area that are Wildlife Crime Aware. We know its you, but they won’t know who’s watching! Download your FREE posters now they’re available from our menu.
Appeals & Information
We know we can’t stop ALL Wildlife Crimes, well not quite yet anyway… but we can Appeal for witnesses after the fact and we can also push the news of Wildlife Crimes around social media too! We’ve created Appeal Posters so you can put them up locally if your local Wildlife has been targeted by Wildlife Criminals and you can let us know through our social media accounts so we can group together to find the law breakers and aid the police in finding information. These posters are also available from our menu.
Join us on Social Media
We use twitter and facebook to keep everyone up to date with new information, updates and news, not only about WildlifeCrimeAware but also about Wildlife Crimes as they are reported so why not join us on twitter @wildcrimeaware and Facebook facebook.com/WildlifeCrimeAware these pages are not manned daily so please don’t report crimes to us without first contacting the police and other interested parties. (see our links)