If you think a Wildlife crime has been committed:
Report it to the police immediately. Please ask if it will be possible for the local Wildlife Crime Officer to be notified also of the incident. (All police officers can deal with wildlife crime)
If photographs are taken ensure that they are date stamped and that the original format is kept. Do not just put them on a disk and delete the camera card as that is the original format. If the incident goes to court the card will need to be seized as evidence.
If vehicles are involved in the criminal activity, note registration numbers. If possible get a photograph but do not put yourself or others at risk. If you feel personally threatened, back off and let the police deal with it.
Ensure your photos show:-
- CONTEXT- can the site be identified from your picture?
- SCALE - use measurements where possible.
- TIME/DATE - date stamp picture or make a note of it.
- LOCATION- where is the scene. (A photograph with no date on it, of a trap in an unidentifiable field will be of little use in a court of law.)
Keep information about the crime to yourself. Discuss it with Police first. Avoid putting it on social networks as this can not only give the criminals chance to remove evidence it can put you at risk from retaliation or counter prosecution. Only speak to media about it if cleared by the police first. Ensure the police have all the information so they can deal with the matter in a professional manner that will ensure a thorough investigation takes place.
For any complaint to proceed, it will require a formal statement to the police when requested and an agreement to attend court if necessary. Otherwise it's likely that the information provided will only be used for intelligence purposes.