Wild life crime

With borders opening up across the world the transport of endangered flora, fauna and animals is expanding world wide and attracting organised crime. The expansion can be accredited to easier travel (cheaper flights) and being able to reach a larger market, one of which is tourism. There is also a growing alertness due to the media bringing the problem, (the use of Chinese medicines and the beauty of unusual jewellery) to the notice of every day people.

As stated before wild life crime is now only beginning to gain priority (Brennan A. M.(02/03/04) and there is a major fear that one such crime "Badger Baiting" is on the increase. Having been made illegal since 1835 it now takes place in secret (Jackson S 25 /05/98) this case was reported by Chief Inspector Tony Crittenden of the RSPCA in summer 1983; "Two badgers, together with two fox cubs, were found on an allotment.

The person concerned had constructed an elaborate artificial sett, using 40-gallon drums sunk into the ground. A short distance away, the men had constructed a "baiting box" which was also sunk into the ground. Terriers could be introduced up to the box through an artificial tunnel.

There was actually a badger in the box, and terriers had been introduced into the tunnel in order to bait the badger, when the RSPCA Inspector and the police arrived" Quote Crittenden T. (1983) This is the crime of badger baiting which goes on today in clandestine out of the way places. It can often be the public out walking in the country side or anonymous phone call to the police, RSPCA or crime stoppers which can lead to information as to where this 'sport' is occurring. Badger baiting will the crime we will be discussing and analysing. What is a crime scene?

A place that is established as to where a crime has been committed; it is also a source of evidence. (Barrett-Lawton. K. (23/03/04) A starting point for a criminal investigation. (anon no date [online])5 and to also identifying the person/persons responsible. (anon no date [online])6 Badger baiting, snaring, trapping, lamping, shooting gassing and poisoning are such crime scenario's (altogether 10. 000 Badgers are killed illegally each year,) there is no reason other than the protection of the species against cruelty, to stop this 'sport' and the loss of an English countryside animal.

(Harris. S. Creswell P. Jefferies D (no date) [online]. The crime scene of Badger baiting would consist of 1 or more badgers, which would be contained in either an arena, where the badger would be attached to a post by his hind leg or by a trap to his tail; and the other scene would be laid out as an artificial sett, with a large drum sunk into the ground and a 'baiting box' that is connected by artificial runs into which the dogs would be introduced to bait the badger.

There would be terrier type dogs or even larger dogs; some covered in massive scars from other fights; people with spades, bolt cutters (to break the badgers jaw), shotguns and nets. Some persons would be there to bet, to exchange information leading to other crimes, taking turns in hitting the badger with spades or throwing bricks to 'encourage' the badger to fight, and many would be there to egg on their dogs and even film the fight while it is in progress.