One of the frustrating things about bat crime is that developers have been getting off with very smallfines. However Richard Lawrence just sent me this, so hopefully things may at long last be changing
“Following a trial, which took place toady at Chesterfield Mags Court today, Hargurdial Singh RAI and his company ISAR Enterprises Ltd. were convicted of destroying a bat roost. RAI had bought properties in Matlock, Derbyshire which he intended developing. Despite the recommendations of an ecology report, which identified a Brown long-eared bat roost in the loft, he went ahead with his development, ripped off the roof, converted the loft and in doing so destroyed the roost. By avoiding the necessary emergence surveys, licences etc. RAI and his Co. saved a minimum of £5,737 (figure provided by BCT). The figure does not include any mitigation.
Upon conviction this afternoon, CPS made an application for a POCA hearing, which the bench agreed was appropriate. Magistrates committed RAI to Crown Court for sentence and a POCA hearing.
This is the first time POCA has been considered for a bat persecution case – to the best of my knowledge anyway.
It may be suitable for other cases and help deter others from failing to deal with bats appropriately.”
It is so frustrating when so much time is put in by police in pursuing these people when the end result is disapponiting. BCT has its own wildlife crime officer in Pete Charleston, who is always willing to give Bat Groups advice and both he and the Bedfordshire Police have been very helpful when we have raised issues with them recently.
For more advice on what to do if you think a bat crime has been committed, go to this page on the BCT website for advice