The case reported below is ongoing so it would be wrong to speculate on it specifically, but social media regularly claims that ‘corrupt’ police are attending illegal fox hunts, monitoring shoots, and behaving as interpreters of the law rather than enforcers of it. There is undoubtedly some bias against what some officers see as ‘left-wing antis’ (us pro-wildlife folk in other words) disturbing ‘traditional countryside pursuits’ (ie those killing wildlife), does that mean all officers are corrupt though? Of course not, and it’s worth noting here that it was officers that ‘swooped’ at dawn to arrest one of their own as part of “an ongoing investigation into allegations of serious organised crime”. It’ll be very interesting to see how this case develops when it gets to court, but the last thing one of the UK’s most targeted birds needs is the very people who should be upholding the laws protecting it being amongst those actually persecuting it…
A serving Police Scotland officer has been charged in connection with alleged wildlife offences after an early-morning raid at her home.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is set to appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court alongside two men, aged 45 and 20, on an undertaking next week.
Officers swooped on the rural property in Berwick-upon-Tweed on Tuesday, May 18, as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of serious organised crime.
Joined by the Scottish SPCA, they are understood to have seized a number of peregrine falcon eggs and chicks from the address.
Police Scotland have confirmed that three people have been arrested in connection with the recovery and that their “enquiries remain ongoing”.
A force spokesperson said: “Officers executed a warrant in the early hours of Tuesday, 18, May, at a property in Lamberton Holdings in Berwick-upon-Tweed in connection with an ongoing investigation.
“Two men, aged 20 and 45 years, and a 43-year-old woman have been arrested and charged in connection with wildlife offences.
“They are due to appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at a later date. Enquiries are continuing.”
A Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector, who cannot be named due to undercover operations, said: “We can confirm we assisted Police Scotland in relation to a warrant regarding wildlife offences at a property in Lamberton Holdings in Berwick-upon-Tweed.”
Peregrine falcons are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act meaning it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb them near or on an active nest.
The species has historically suffered from persecution and pesticide poisoning with their numbers dwindling to their lowest levels in the 1960s.
Scottish specimens of the bird – which can dive at more than 200mph – are highly prized in the Middle East where they are used for racing by wealthy sheikhs.
Stronger legislation has helped increase the number of falcons in the wild however they are still persecuted for preying on game birds and racing pigeons.
Their eggs have also previously been stolen to order for private collections and falconry.Sarah Vesty, Daily Record, 28 May 21