Following a meeting to discuss tackling Wildlife Crime in South Yorkshire, the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has penned an open letter to South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson detailing the main points and agreed actions and outcomes of the meeting.
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust actively campaign to end wildlife persecution and the illegal killing of wildlife. After receiving worrying reports about the police’s approach to wildlife crime in the area from Trust members and the general public, Chief Executive Liz Ballard, with the help of Angela Smith MP set up the meeting with South Yorkshire Police, including Chief Constable Stephen Watson. Also invited were Mark Thomas, Head of Investigations RSPB and Superintendent Nick Lyall, Chair of the Raptor Persecution Group for the National Wildlife Crime Unit. One of the main aims of the meeting, whilst not expecting wildlife crime to become a South Yorkshire Police Priority over, for example, knife crime, was to seek more parity as to how different aspects of rural crime are tackled across South Yorkshire. There is also the potential for a better-informed public to be better able to support the police.
Specific examples of incidents were discussed. Liz Ballard, Chief Executive of the Trust highlighted a number of examples where members of the public had raised concerns about the lack of police response to reports of wildlife crime and Mark Thomas, RSPB, raised the lack of progress in relation to several reported local wildlife crime incidents on the moors, even when evidence had been presented to them.
*Download full letter here – Open letter to Chief Constable Stephen Watson *
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust took the decision to make this letter public after enquiries from members and the public about progress from the meeting.
Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust looks forward to receiving a response from South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Stephen Watson.
Photo Credit. Mark Hamblin/2020VISION.