Recognise, record and report wildlife crime

(c) Tom Blackwell

Together we can protect Yorkshire's wildlife

The harming or killing of any wildlife is illegal, and for good reason – the UK is now one of the most nature-depleted countries on the planet. It’s difficult to believe therefore that wildlife crime remains a national problem to this day – and sadly, that includes right here in Yorkshire.

The one positive is that we each have a part to play in preventing wildlife crime, and it takes no more effort than noting down what you see and passing that information onto the police.

“Wildlife crime includes offences such as poaching, killing or disturbing protected species or damaging their breeding and resting places, and illegally trading in endangered species. It is one of the pressures that can push animal and plant species closer to extinction.” - Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime

You are most likely to come across evidence of wildlife crime when exploring off the beaten track in the more remote and rural parts of Yorkshire, but it is possible to stumble across it anywhere. A general rule of thumb is if you see something and you find yourself questioning whether it’s okay or not, then it’s probably not okay. Trust your instincts and report it.

If you think you’ve come across something untoward, the best thing is to record the evidence, call it in and let the police take it from there. You may not be aware of the significance of something you come across on a walk or ramble, but your evidence could be the missing part of a puzzle that leads to a conviction. Everything is always worth reporting.

When out and about in our glorious Yorkshire, keep the ‘Three Rs’ at the back of your mind:

· Recognise that what you’ve seen or found is a crime

· Record it by taking photos or recording video (both wide-angle to include the location, as well as close up shots), and noting the location using the grid reference or What 3 Words

· Report it by calling 999 if a crime is happening there and then, or 101 if you’ve found evidence of something that’s already occurred.

Together, we can protect Yorkshire’s wildlife.

For more information about wildlife crime visit https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/partnership-for-action-against-wildlife-crime