Posted: 07.04.21 at 17:15 by Philippa Davies
People out and about in the local countryside are being asked to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity around wild birds’ nests.
Devon and Cornwall Police are taking part in Operation Easter, an annual initiative to tackle the theft of birds’ eggs during the nesting season, from spring to early summer.
It’s a national operation which aims to target the culprits by sharing intelligence across the UK.
PC Martin Beck, Rural Affairs Officer for Devon, said: “We have a great and varied number of birds in the South West which we should enjoy, respect and protect.
“This does however attract some the attention of a small number of people who want to take wild bird eggs.
“This practice has been banned for many decades but sadly still goes on.
“The operation is asking members of the public to let the police know if they see people interfering with nests or taking eggs. The intention of this operation is to ensure that intelligence opportunities are maximised in order to prevent, disrupt or investigate possible offences. Be our eagle eyes.”
The taking of wild bird eggs is a serious crime. Whole clutches of eggs can be taken from some of the UK’s rarest birds, and stored in secret collections. This can have a serious effect on wild bird populations.
Anyone who has information on egg thieves, or those who disturb rare nesting birds without a licence, should contact the police by emailing [email protected] or calling them on 101 - ask to speak to a wildlife crime officer if possible.
Information can also be passed in confidence to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111.