Letter to N Yorks Police

Fulford Road Police Station

29 June 2009

Dear Chief Superintendent

Destruction of Water Voles in Germany Beck

I have reason to believe that an offence has been committed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended by Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which made it an offence to recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place which water voles use for shelter or protection.

I am writing to you as the Chief of Staff as I hope you are in a position to identify the department or officers within the North Yorkshire force who can deal with my inquiry.

I have been working in a habitat for water voles for the last decade and had John Trail of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust visit the site with me about a year ago. This February I noted some new habitats and immediately notified the city planners, the city environmental officer and the parish council in writing on 25 February.

Alarmed that the City Council had not responded, I used the Councilís complaints procedure to repeat my warning that the habitat was at risk as I had noted in my letter that the Beck was often cleared at this time of year. Only when I wrote to the Chief Executive on 1 June to report that the habitat had been destroyed did one of their officers, Daniel Calvert, contact me by phone to tell me that they did not know who had destroyed the water vole habitat. I asked to be kept informed of progress with the investigation but have heard nothing.

I sent a copy of my letters, plus some other documents, to the two nominated environmental protection police officers in Selby and York since I believe that the Beck is on the boundary between the divisions. I did this after discussing the matter with the inquiry desk, by phone, and they were able to give me the name and number of the officers.

I am aware that two other people have observed the habitat before and after the recent destruction and we have separately taken photographs. Because I was doing archaeological work, I had a GPS system with me so I believe that we could provide the police with suitable evidence should that be necessary.

I would be grateful if you would forward this matter for investigation as I believe there is strong evidence that a crime has been committed. As the site is subject to planning consent there are parties who would benefit from the removal of the water voles and their habitat.


Charles Jones

For info:

I attach various documents for information