Wildlife Crime – A guide to the use of forensic and specialist techniques in the investigation of wildlife crime’ has been produced by the Forensic Working Group (FWG) as part of the work of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW). It was launched by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Environment Minister and chair of PAW Scotland during the Scottish Wildlife Crime Conference at the Scottish Police College , Tulliallan on 30th April 2014.
The guide can be downloaded from the FWG website at www.pawfwg.org.
Hard copies of the guide will be mailed out to all UK police forces and others connected with wildlife crime law enforcement.
The publication demonstrates how investigators have used modern technology, such as DNA and radiocarbon testing, to tackle crimes that are often complicated by remote locations and a lack of eyewitness evidence. Methods can be applied to a wide range of offences, including the illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species, cruelty inflicted on some wild animals for sport and the persecution of birds of prey.
This guide is primarily for use by enforcement officers investigating wildlife crimes – providing information on the range of forensic techniques that are available and using casework examples to illustrate their application. Guidance is provided from the initial examination of a wildlife crime scene to providing advice on how to select the right laboratory to carry out your testing. This guide was first produced in 2005. This second edition guide has been substantially updated to reflect technological developments and new casework examples.
Kate Ramsey, Chair of the Forensic Working Group stated “The use of forensics has a vital role in the investigation of many wildlife crimes. The FWG has worked to promote the use of these forensic methods and help push forward new and innovative methods. We hope this guide will be a valuable resource for wildlife crime investigators in the UK and abroad.”