Project Trespass – a new initiative to provide a coordinated response to poaching will be launched on (1st October 2013) by the England and Wales Poaching Priority Delivery Group, which includes the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in its membership.
Tackling poaching is one of the UK’s wildlife crime priorities. It blights the countryside and affects farmers, landowners and others living and working there. Poaching increases across England and Wales during late autumn following the harvest and as the hours of darkness increase.
44% of all wildlife crime reports from across the UK provided to the NWCU relate to ‘poaching intelligence’ including the poaching of deer, fish and game and hare coursing.
Nevin Hunter head of the NWCU said: “Poaching is a criminal activity – all poachers are trespassers and analysis by the NWCU over the past two years shows that given an opportunity poachers have diversified into thefts, burglaries, assaults and other rural crimes. Many police forces are developing rural crime strategies where the tackling of all wildlife crime and particularly poaching is a priority. Project Trespass will help in the effort to coordinate intelligence and responses to reports of crime.”
PROJECT TRESPASS aims to coordinate action across England and Wales through -
- Prevention – offering best advice to farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, shooting and land management organisations regarding measures to put in place to prevent poaching and disruption mechanisms.
- Intelligence – to allow the police to target offenders.
- Enforcement – with good intelligence the police can target poachers through the various rural and poaching based operations run throughout England and Wales.
- Reassurance – by working together and by publicising resulting actions such as activity, arrests, seizures and convictions.
Dilip Sarkar, Fisheries Enforcement Manager for the Angling Trust said: "Anglers reporting incidents to the police should refer to both Project TRESPASS and our Elementary Guide to Angling Law & Fisheries Enforcement which is available to all officers on the Police Online Knowledge Area. In the event of Angling Trust members not receiving an appropriate level of service from the police they should contact me with details; I will then notify Detective Inspector Nevin Hunter at the NWCU who can take up the matter with the force concerned.
This is all part of our strategy to educate police officers that poaching and fish theft are criminal offences and that offenders are often involved in wider patterns of offending - including firearms and drugs."