28th November 2016

The Investigations Project has been working to prevent bat crime since its inception in 2001 as a collaboration between RSPB and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT). Since then, the Investigations Project has developed and is now based wholly within BCT, supported by bat groups and BCT staff. A part-time Investigations Officer Pete Charleston has led the project since 2010. We have two exciting bits of news regarding the project that we would like to update you on:

1. The 2015 Bat Crime report is now available to download from HERE. This report provides an update on the progress made throughout 2015 during which we have continued to work closely with the National Wildlife Crime Unit. As part of the project, Pete Charleston has provided training for those charged with delivering the legal protection offered to bats; This has included wildlife crime officers and prosecutors. In 2015 BCT made 133 referrals to the police, a substantial decrease on the 2014 total of 159 although the number of referrals is much in line with the 2010 - 2015 average. Please do download the report to find out more and read about some important case studies from 2015.

2. The project, now named "Bearing Witness for Wildlife Crime", has received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for the next three years, alongside a new Mitigation Project. This milestone has been achieved thanks to the ongoing financial support of bat groups, trusts/grants as well as donations from BCT members and supporters. We want to thank everyone for this who has brought the project to where it is today.

The project will continue to be led by Pete Charleston in his role as Conservation Wildlife Crime Officer. Looking ahead, we will of course continue to work closely with bat groups in order to enable the project to tackle the crucially important issue of bat related wildlife crime.

We will continue to keep you updated with progress but for now we would once again like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed and supported our efforts on this important front.

More information about Bat Crime Investigations: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_crime_investigations.html

To contribute to the work of the Bat Conservation Trust: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/get_involved.html

Contact: Joe Nunez at jnunez-mino@bats.org.uk or 0207 820 7183 for more information, images and interviews.