We had an interesting meeting of the Bedfordshire Badger Network this week. In addition to the usual badger matters, we were joined by a Police Inspector – the Wildlife Liaison Officer for Bedfordshire.
Police Wildlife Liaison Officers are responsible for all wildlife-related crime, which thankfully is rare in Bedfordshire. There has been the odd incident of illegal sett blocking or badgers being shot, but no large-scale persecution. Illegal disturbance during building and development is a far greater threat. Still, it is good to think that the watchful eye of enthusiastic amateur badger watchers is backed up by a dedicated (in both senses of the word) police officer.
As for myself, I used it as an opportunity to get my excuses in early. After all, it isn’t every day that I talk to a Police Inspector. I had a quiet word with her. “Listen”, I said, “if ever the police get reports of a suspicious character dressed in a camouflage jacket and hanging around the village after dark, it’ll probably be me. Can you put in a good word for me please?”
Well, you never know when I’ll need a friend who can vouch that “I’m badger watching” isn’t just a lame excuse…