Landowners, gamekeepers, farmers and others who reside in the countryside, in Angus are being invited to come along to a meeting at 7pm on Monday 18 November at Forfar Police Station to discuss a proposed Poacher Watch Scheme.
The intended scheme, which aims to help combat the number of people illegally poaching in the area, will see officers sharing information about poaching and other wildlife crime with community members via e-mail, text and telephone voicemail messages.
In turn, it is hoped that members will act as additional eyes and ears while out and about in the county by reporting suspicious activity to the police, enabling them to quickly share crime prevention advice and gather vital intelligence to identify offenders.
Constable Blair Wilkie, a Police Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer in Tayside Division, Police Scotland, is a firm believer that the police should work closely with community members to stamp out wildlife crime and hopes Poacher Watch will get the backing of local landowners, gamekeepers, farmers and other interested parties and will see a reduction in the number of poaching incidents. Hare coursing (Operation Lepus) and deer poaching (Operation Moon) will be the initial focus.
“We would urge rural communities, farmers and landowners in the Angus area to come along to discuss the scheme and help us tackle the problem. It is recognised that there may be other similar schemes running in the area but there are gaps in coverage. We would like to encourage involvement from individuals who are members of already existing schemes and also individuals who are new to this concept. We can hopefully establish a joint approach and show a united front in the fight against Wildlife Crime.”
“The key to tackling wildlife crime is to report suspicious activity to police immediately so that we can act quickly.
“We also ask people who come across someone committing a wildlife crime, to note the date, the time, note a GPS reading or note a good description of the location where the incident has occurred, take down the registration numbers of suspicious vehicles and note a description of the offenders …as all this can help us identify the offender at a later stage .”
“People caught committing any wildlife crime will be dealt with robustly and will ultimately end up before the courts.’’
To register your interest in this event, please contact PC Wilkie on 07808 899113.