FIRST UPDATE – OPERATION WILDERNESS – Devon & Cornwall Constabulary

Covert cameras were deployed at an occupied peregrine territory by Police officers involved in Operation Wilderness at a secret location on the Devon south coast on the 15th March 2012. Within 48 hrs images were received from the camera which showed 2 males approaching the nest site spending a short time at a ledge which is situated approximately 20 ft from the nest site. The two individuals were then seen to leave the area.

When police checked the site the birds had already began laying and 1 egg was present within the nest scrape.

The offenders, one of whom was known to police were identified from the images captured by the SD card. Both men were subsequently arrested and camera equipment was seized and analyzed. Images were found on the SD card of a the peregrine falcon nest site and pictures of the site containing the single egg. Neither of the males held the appropriate Natural England photographic licence allowing them to disturb the nesting pair.

A 43 and 44 year old male from the Brixham area of Devon have each now been released pending outstanding enquiries and a charging decision.

The breeding pair of peregrines from the site continue to occupy the territory, and a full clutch of eggs is now being incubated. The clutch of eggs are expected to hatch by 20th April.

Police have since received credible intelligence of a second site in Devon that may be subject to an attempt on the nest site by egg collectors.

The Devon and Cornwall Police are to be congratulated for a job well done. ‘We would like to take this opportunity to thanks the volunteers who helped to monitor the site and also the Devon Bird watching and Preservation Society for funding the cameras. We firmly believe that the apprehension of these offenders will send a shock waves around the circles that are intent on persecuting these species. No egg collector, photographer, or persons intent on poisoning Devon species can now approach these sensitive site without the risk of being caught and dealt with at the Police station for their illegal activities.




As soon as additional information is released by the Police we will of course publish the details on this site.

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