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At a wildlife crime seminar at Kew Gardens, London, Mr Irranca-Davies, the Government’s wildlife minister, outlined the key priorities for police forces based on numbers of crimes or the effect wildlife crime is having on a particular species. Though poaching featured on the list, protection for birds of prey, including the hen harrier, was also recognised as a major concern.

According to the Government, actions to be taken to reflect its priorities will include stronger, co-ordinated responses to wildlife crime, specialist training for police officers, encouraging people to report crimes and intelligence gathering to help identify, detect and prosecute the criminals involved.

Commenting on the crime priorities, Mr Irranca-Davies said: “Wildlife crime matters, it has an impact on our environment and on the ecosystems, habitats and wildlife that supports our very existence. Information and intelligence are going to be key in this fi ght. We need to tackle these crimes through effective partnerships.”

The rest of this article appears in 5 March issue of Shooting Times.

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