10th October 2018

Bat Crime Annual Report 2017 released

We are pleased to announce the release of the Bat Crime Report 2017. This report outlines and analyses incidents and outcomes of the Bat Conservation Trust’s (BCT) Investigations Project in 2017. This latest report shows a 8% increase from the previous year in the number of referrals made to the police. This increase is a cause for continued concern about levels of bat crime. The full report can be downloaded HERE.

The Investigations Project has been working to prevent bat crime since its inception in 2001. In 2016 funding obtained from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation secured the future of the bat crime investigations project until 2019.

During 2017, BCT have continued to work closely with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) providing them with intelligence relating to all incidents that are referred for investigation. In 2017 BCT recorded and researched 195 allegations of bat crime with 165 cases being referred to the police. The number of reported incidents varied throughout the UK police forces. Of the 165 incidents referred to the police last year, 127 were reported to English police forces, 27 to Police Scotland, and 11 to the Welsh forces. In 2017, 70 of the 165 reported cases resulted in crime prevention advice being provided. Although development has been identified as a key component of many bat crimes, BCT acknowledges that many in the industry want to do the right thing and support our projects that meet shared conservation goals.

Currently the police do not record wildlife crime, unlike most other types of crime, in a formal manner. We believe that this situation must change and that the Home Office should require statistical returns in the same manner as they do other offences such as theft, criminal damage or assault. Unless wildlife crime is recorded in a consistent manner, it is impossible to identify crime trends and hotspots and develop strategies to address problems.

BCT with other members of the Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL) have been working hard over a number of years to persuade the police, politicians and civil servants to record wildlife crime. In 2018 we contributed to the first annual wildlife crime report produced by WCL. (https://www.wcl.org.uk/docs/LinkAnnualWildlifeCrimeReportApril18.pdf)

You can download the report HERE.

Further information about Bat Crime is available HERE.

Contact: Joe Nunez at comms@bats.org.uk or 0207 820 7168 for more information, images and interviews.