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Thread: BASC question

  1. #1
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    BASC question

    I know the BASC has a representative that is on here. I would like to ask two questions.

    1. Given the suspected prevalence of poaching, what lobbying is being done to stiffen the penalties of those caught poaching?
    2. If poaching is rife then one would assume that the carcasses have to be disposed of. What lobbying is the BASC doing to make game dealers/food establishments keep proper records of venison purchases AND then have to enter them to an appropriate authority?

    Poaching is a serious crime and affects a national asset. We know that the Police are stretched and funds are limited. But the countryside deserves to be taken seriously. People earn their living out here and although they are not packed in like rats in a drain pipe (like towns and cities), crime and that includes poaching never seems to be taken seriously.
    By stemming the route to market via proper auditing poachers would at least find it more difficult to dispose of their ill-gotten gains.
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

  2. #2
    Last night I was privileged to be invited to demonstate my quad sticks at a not so far away DMG.
    One of the greatest things about the group was everyones willingness to keep a close look out for poachers and inform the local police of any suspicious vehicles etc.
    The meeting was attended by the local wildlife occiferess, the regional BASC representative and the forestry commision area manager too.
    Its groups like this, encouraged to report suspicious activty, that will benefit us all in the mid to long term.
    It will be interessting to see what the BASC have to say.
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  3. #3
    Teyhan 1
    Hope you are not holding your breath, waiting for an answer.

  4. #4
    Good first post teyhan.
    Unfortunately after being involved with several of these poacherwatch schemes limulus I have little faith in their effectiveness unless the police get 100% behind them and actually bring prosecutions against offenders.
    Its not the officers that come out and speak at these meetings that are the problem to be fair.They are usually keen as to begin with but suffer with a lack of support from above them and ultimately the CPS.
    At times we even used to have trouble to get any police support even once people had been apprehended.
    Something major needs doing but the argument that there are more pressing problems will always be used.It lloks to me that rural policing as a whole has taken a bashing over the last 10 or more years.

  5. #5
    Perdix

    Terhan1
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  6. #6
    It's true and I've said it before. The police do have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute where necessary poaching offences. But the policy these days, partly led by a lack of resources is to prioritise types of offences and be judged by how they do with these priorities. When choosing priorities, poaching is well down the list of possible priorities to be chosen and gets swamped by the likes of assaults, burglaries and anti social behaviour.

    Police wildlife officers in the main are ordinary officers who work shifts, have community responsibilities and the like and their wildlife role is an extra to that. I dare say that no UK force has the staff to do meaningful patrols with a view to reducing poaching on a regular basis.

    The only way to get some action is to keep reporting poaching and rural crime. Each time a high seat or a pheasant pen is damaged, each time there's evidence of poaching such as wounded duck on a flight/release pond or an unexplained gralloch or deer bits found we should be making sure we call the police and log it. It may seem nothing gets done (usually because that's true) but the more we tell them, the more likely eventually a senior officer with scrambled egg on his cap will look at the figures and say we should be addressing this. Local councillors also. Bend their ears as often as possible. The police have targets to show how they are liaising with the community and a favourite way is to go to parish and town council meetings. Get the councillors telling the police there and then the police will want to say how they've listened to community representatives and acted on it.

  7. #7
    Regarding stiffening the penalties- the penalties are already severe, just as they are for many offences however, we (as a country) have degraded our sentencing terms on guilty verdicts and pleas over many years to the end point were someone can be given a severe beating and the offender can literally walk away with no or a token fine and community service. The penalties are fine, it's our utilisation that's the issue and that will never be changed unless we can tackle all crime in this way- with real sentencing.

    The other issue is policing. Rural crime is taken seriously but take my own force- 2800 officers only 40% of which actually patrol. The remainder are CID, specialist units, senior offices, genuine office roles that cannot be civillianised etc. Of that 40%, only 25% of those are at work (not allowing for short periods (hours) of overlap). Now you can't but imagine you could and say "Ah, well put them all on patrol" well, those officers would still not be enough to cover an decently sized area. One of my local policing areas is a rural area of over 450 square miles and is patrolled by a full team strength of 10 officers. Those officers need to have their holiday, training and sickness. To turn out 6/7 is a normal number. They then have to patrol the area (which at normal speeds takes one hour to drive across, that's drive not patrol) which includes many farms etc but many towns with populations of more than 20K. At least two officers have to be together in the case of attending violent incidents, the remainder could feasibly patrol singly but two unit would have to come together for other violent crimes or those where suspects are present (poaching, thefts from farms etc).

    Now EVERYBODY complains about the service from the police here we pay £55 a year from the council tax to the police authority. If you ask for much more you lose public support.

    I don't know the solution but those are the facts laid bare. If if sentencing were stiffer, we'd still have to prosecute them successfully and actually catch them first!
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by teyhan1 View Post
    I know the BASC has a representative that is on here. I would like to ask two questions
    Would you not be best contacting them directly rather than just hoping they stumble across the post? What about all the other Lobbying groups?

  9. #9
    Good morning,

    BASC have long worked with the police on anti-poaching initiatives, and encourage all our shoots to make contact with their local police/ wildlife crime officer. Regardless of what the penalties may be unless the poachers are caught its rather irrelevant.

    Speaking personally – as the shoot I ‘keep / beat on is poached,I have found the police very helpful indeed.

    To be specific about lobbying to increase sentences, as hasbeen said the penalties are pretty severe but I recall a case earlier this year where two men were convicted of deep poaching and fined £350-£400, given the blackmarket for venison is about £1 a lb this is a tiny sum. I will ask what can be done.

    As to stemming the black market trade, that’s very much a matter for the environmental health teams within the local authority I would suggest, and I am not too sure what BASC can do about that but again I will ask.

    The police only arrest and charge, it’s down to the CPS ifthe case goes forward ….

    David
    Last edited by David BASC; 06-12-2013 at 08:55.

  10. #10
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    I have worked in Environmental Health. They are governed by Law. The council could not bring about prosecutions without it. As such they have statutory requirements. All I am saying is can we not get a clause inserted to make submission of game dealer records a statutory requirement?
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

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