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Northamptonshire Police supports national operation against egg thieves and collectors

Author: Northants Police Published: 14th April 2019 09:13

Egg thieves will go to any lengths to raid the nests of rare species but Operation Easter is dedicated to stopping them in their tracks. Egg thieves will go to any lengths to raid the nests of rare species but Operation Easter is dedicated to stopping them in their tracks. 

With spring in full swing and wild birds busy nesting, Northamptonshire Police is backing a national campaign to protect them. 

Egg thieves will go to any lengths to raid the nests of rare species but Operation Easter is dedicated to stopping them in their tracks. 

Originally developed in Scotland 22 years ago, Operation Easter is now run by the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in conjunction with UK police forces and partner agencies. The operation targets egg thieves by sharing intelligence across the UK to support enforcement action.

In recent years Operation Easter has also been expanded to look at those who might take raptor eggs or chicks to launder into falconry, those who are suspected of disturbing nests for photography and those who trade eggs online.

The taking of wild bird eggs is a serious crime yet it remains the pastime of some determined individuals. Whole clutches of eggs can be taken from some of the UK’s rarest birds, with potentially devastating impacts, just so they can be stored in secret collections.  

Chief Inspector Lou Hubble, head of the NWCU, said: “As populations of many birds decline, the NWCU is committed to Operation Easter. We will be working alongside partners and police forces to help to protect nesting sites and would encourage anyone who witnesses suspicious activity to report it to their local police force.”

PC Abbey Anstead, rural and wildlife crime officer at Northamptonshire Police, added: “Our rural and wildlife crime officers are dedicated to protecting all wildlife, including wild birds.

“Nesting season is now underway so we’re asking people to contact us if they see anyone acting suspiciously around nesting birds.”

If you have any information on egg thieves, or those who disturb rare nesting birds without a licence, call Northamptonshire Police on 101 and ask to speak to a wildlife crime officer if possible. Reports and information can also be shared online at www.northants.police.uk/reportonline

Information can also be passed in confidence to Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111.

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