Can you help the police identify this peregrine nest robber?

After nearly six months South Yorkshire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit are appealing for information from the public for information which would identify the individual captured by CCTV on Friday 8th May stealing a peregrine chick from a nest site in Rotherham. You may ask why did the police wait so long before asking for assistance, after all most crimes stand a better chance of being solved within the first 48 hours after the crime had been committed. There is no doubt the two images published below are the only chance the police have which may finally help resolve this crime after so long an interval.



Chief Inspector Martin Sims, head of the NWCU said:The illegal trade in birds of prey is a UK wildlife crime priority…. This statement by the Chief Inspector is at odds with the reality of what is happening on the grouse moors in northern England. For example at least 17 peregrine eyries have been recorded as abandoned since 2010 in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland. In the last two years at least 7 hen harriers have been lost from grouse moors in the Forest of Bowland and Geltsdale in the northern Pennines, presumed shot. The disappearance of so many nesting peregrines from one small moorland region in England in such a short time is unprecedented. Significantly this appalling catastrophe has not been mentioned by the RSPB anywhere to date, other that a comment in the Lancashire Life two years ago claiming these losses was the result of a shortage of food and poor weather conditions, and pigs might fly.

We have posted below the Press Release issued this week by the south Yorkshire Police.

South Yorkshire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) have issued CCTV images after a valuable peregrine falcon was taken from a nest in the region.

Observations at a peregrine falcon nesting site in the Anston area of Rotherham revealed that in April this year, three eggs were laid. Further observations revealed that at least one of the eggs hatched.

A joint investigation was launched after officers were notified by the RSPB that one of the peregrine falcons had been taken from the nest on Friday 8 May with the incident captured on a RSPB surveillance camera.

Peregrine falcons are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are listed on Schedule 1, which specifically protects them from disturbance.

Extensive enquiries have been undertaken since the incident and officers are keen to identify those involved in the theft to prevent it from happening again.

Police would like to identify and trace the individual pictured in the photographs and want to hear from anyone who may hold information about the theft. RSPB have offered a £1000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Chief Inspector Martin Sims, head of the NWCU said: “The illegal trade in birds of prey is a UK Wildlife Crime priority and we continue to gather intelligence about those who make money by targeting wild birds and attempting to pass them off as legally captive bred birds.

“Trading illegally in species such as peregrine falcons carries up to five years imprisonment. We will target anybody who targets wild birds.”

Chief Superintendent David Hartley, South Yorkshire Police’s lead for wildlife crime, added: “Peregrine falcons are an iconic part of our countryside and this crime sees a premeditated exploitation of this for criminal profit.

“South Yorkshire Police has a highly trained team of Wildlife Crime officers and they have been dedicated to this investigation, supported by the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

“We will not tolerate this type of crime and we seek the public’s help in identifying those that are profiting from the wild birds we cherish.”

If you hold any information about this crime or can identify the individual pictured, please call the National Wildlife Crime Unit on 01506 833722.

You can also call 101 or email, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 373 of 23 May 2015.

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1 comment to Can you help the police identify this peregrine nest robber?

  • Alastair Henderson

    It is barely credulous that these photographs have only now been released by the police.
    It is to be hoped that all of the newspapers have been asked to include these too.
    Do you suppose that social media might be used to advantage?

    Editor’s Comment. Alastair, we are just as dismayed as you are, it makes one wonder are the police taking these crimes seriously?