As the Regional Campaigns Manager for the League Against Cruel Sports covering Gloucestershire, I have been attending a local wildlife crime engagement group since 2018.

An initiative started by Gloucestershire Police’s Rural Crime Team, it brings together local charities and organisations with an interest in wildlife to discuss concerns around wildlife in the local area. This includes illegal hunting, poaching, raptor persecution, badger persecution and coursing to name but a few!

If you are used to reporting wildlife crime online, as I am, being a member of my local badger group, you know how hard it can be. Details needing to be put on the reporting form are focussed on crimes to humans not animals and can be laborious and off-putting to say the least. For example, do they need victim support? Do you know their names?

This issue was discussed in the group meetings by several of the members. It resulted in a copy of the League’s Animal Crimewatch form and the Badger Trust reporting form being sent to one of the crime team’s police officers.

They listened to us, and after the last meeting in April, the Inspector sent all attendees a copy of a new form, which is now up on the Gloucestershire police website. If you live in Gloucestershire and you need to report any wildlife crime into the police, please use this new form which can be found here.

Credit goes to the Rural Crime Team for undertaking this. It would be amazing if other police forces around the UK followed the good example by Gloucestershire police and implemented a simpler way to report wildlife crime.

Please also report anything suspicious into our Animal Crimewatch team. Our supporter- funded Animal Crimewatch is a function available to report cruelty to animals inflicted by ‘sport’. You can see some of the successes our Crimewatch team have had here.

The League is committed to working in partnership with other charities and groups to make a better world for animals. You may have seen our recent success working with other charities to bring about the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act and recently we have united with 50 other charities asking the Government to take advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect animals.

In Gloucestershire we have a League Against Cruel Sports supporter group who are active in campaigning against cruelty to animals in the name of sport. If you would like to join a supporter group, either in Gloucestershire or in your area, please contact us at [email protected]

We are currently looking forward to getting back out on the streets and attending events, lots of activity is being planned for the summer if restrictions allow.