The Bearing Witness for Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Crime Project recognises that wildlife crime is not currently recorded, investigated or prosecuted effectively.
Neither the police nor government record most wildlife crime and therefore its extent in relation to many species is simply unknown. For a number of years BCT's Investigations Project (link to Bat Crime Investigations page) has been recording levels of crime against bats and we feel reasonably confident that we have an understanding of how much occurs. The Bearing Witness for Wildlife Project will allow us to work in collaboration with other conservation organisations to introduce similar recording practices for other species such as great crested newt, water vole and bluebell.
Our work has contributed to the manner in which bat crimes are both investigated and prosecuted. We will work towards similar processes and outcomes for other species through this project.
Our Conservation Wildlife Crime Officer is the Chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link Wildlife Crime and Trade Group. During the first year of our Bearing Witness for Wildlife Project the group have published a report calling for effective recording of wildlife crime. The first wildlife crime report was launched in 2017 with a second one published the following year . A third report covering 2018 is in the early stages of production. Through this group BCT has also had significant input into meetings with the Sentencing Council, as well as influential MP’s and civil servants. Through this group BCT has also had significant input into meetings with the Sentencing Council, as well as influential MP’s and civil servants.