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Putting Poachers in their place - Launch of PROJECT TRESPASS


National Wildlife Crime Unit

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."


Note to Editors:

1. The Poaching Priority Delivery Group for England and Wales (PPDG) is comprised of police representatives, the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO), the Food Standards Agency, the Deer Initiative, the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency (EA), the National Farmers Union (NFU), Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the Countryside Alliance (CA).

The PPDG works with and supports the Partnership for Action against Wildlife crime (PAW), an umbrella body comprising all governmental and non- governmental organisations committed to tackling all aspects of wildlife crime across the UK. 

2. The PPDG reports to the UK Tasking and Coordinating Group, a multi-agency group chaired by a Chief Police Officer that focuses strategic and operational support to tackle threat of criminality to UK wildlife. 

3. The NWCU was established in October 2006 and is a police unit with a UK- wide remit relating to wildlife crime. It is the focal point for all wildlife crime.  
Analysis over the past two years by the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) highlights the following: 

England and Wales 
Across England and Wales total wildlife crime intelligence shows the following;
1. Deer poaching accounts for 14.8% (312 intelligence logs). The driver for deer poaching is financial due to the increasing value of venison. The NWCU has noted an increase in the ‘coursing’ of deer using dogs.
2. Fish poaching accounts for 3.9% (81 intelligence logs).
3. Hare coursing accounts for 8.1% (171 intelligence logs). 

Poaching is not a recordable crime with police forces not required to report levels to Government. However, intelligence is gathered and reported to the National Wildlife Crime Unit which then helps to build a picture and can propose actions. As a result tackling poaching is a national priority and it is addressed through a multi-agency approach involving all interested parties.  

Further information from:  

1. DI Nevin Hunter - Head of National Wildlife Crime Unit email: Telephone: 07919 690392 

2. National Wildlife Crime Unit email:  Telephone: 01506 833722

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