Need help with a bat?

Follow our advice

or call us on 0345 1300 228

Bat Crime Investigations

Bats have a low reproductive rate and are particularly vulnerable to a range of threats. To protect bats against further population declines all UK bats and their roosts are protected by law. 

Bats are European Protected Species (EPS) due to their decline and vulnerability across Europe; this means they require legal protection that covers individual bats and their roosts. Bat crime is the second most encountered wildlife crime following raptor persecution. Wildlife crime against bats, is often in the form of roost destruction and disturbance, which is not just devastating for the species directly affected at a local level but also for wider conservation efforts.

BCT works to provide solutions to improve conservation action for bats and those acting to protect them. As ever the Bat Conservation Trust regrets that prosecutions are needed to uphold the legislation that protects bats and their roosts but acknowledges that this is necessary to hold offenders to account for their illegal actions.

If you think that a bat related crime is happening find out what you should do

BCT’s Investigations Project aims are

  1. Recording bat related crime;

  2. Providing support training and advice for bat workers, ecological consultants, SNCOs, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure incidents are reported, investigated, and the law enforced i.e. prosecutions are taken forward with appropriate sentencing where appropriate;

  3. Targeting the groups and sectors that perpetrate bat related crime for education and awareness raising initiatives, such as the production of best practice guidelines to improve work practices;

  4. Improving areas of UK policy, in particular those that relate to planning and species licensing, to reduce opportunities for ignoring the legislative protection given to bats.


Latest reports:

Bat Crime Annual Report 2017

Bat Crime Annual Report 2016

Bat Crime Annual Report 2015

Bat Crime Annual Report 2014

Bat Crime Annual Report 2013

Bat Crime Annual Report 2012

Bat Crime Annual Report 2011

Bat Crime Review 2010 



Find out more

Bat Crime Report - Is the legislation protecting bats? (747 KB) - 01/01/03
Published in 2003 as the result of a two-year partnership project between BCT and the RSPB

Bat Crime Annual Report 2009 (2 MB) - 22/11/10
Statistics on bat crime incidents reported to BCT in 2009

Bat Crime Annual Report 2011 (2 MB) - 01/08/12
Summary and analysis from the BCT Investigations Project of bat crimes in 2011

You should follow us
Bookmark and Share

Subscribe today to receive the latest on bats and BCT direct to your inbox.

Bat Helpline

0345 1300 228