Tackling Badger Crime: Police Training courses

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

We are on a mission to #stopbadgercrime

Badger crime is prolific in all areas of the country with crimes from badger baiting to sett blocking remaining prevalent long after the Protection of Badgers Act was established. We receive hundreds of reports every year of wildlife crimes that involve badgers. It is estimated that over 30,000 badgers every year fall victim to wildlife crime, despite having one of the highest levels of protection under the law.

As part of our mission to stop badger crime, we provide National Badger Crime Awareness Courses to police forces across the country. From 2017 to 2018 we trained 28 Police Forces across England and Wales. In 2019, we are aiming to provide this training to 9 police forces in high wildlife crime areas. We need your help to raise £3150 to cover the cost of training these police forces. Funds raised up to £3150 will go directly to training these 9 police forces.


Humberside Police took part in our National Badger Crime Awareness course in 2017. Not long after, they were faced with a horrific case of badger baiting. Two of the dogs were left with serious injuries, one of which was even heavily pregnant. Humberside Police responded and made 4 arrests at the scene. Thanks to Humberside Police’ swift action, all of the men involved were found guilty and sentenced to the maximum term of six months in jail.

A Humberside Police Wildlife Crime Officer stated…

"In responding to the initial call made to the police, several members of staff attended the scene. Two of the officers had undertaken the National Wildlife Crime course with two of them have also completed the 1-day national badger course. One member of staff Police Community Support Officer Steve Lynch was immediately able to identify the tunnel entrances, excavated spoil, and identify other signs such as well-defined run definitive signs and that the structure the offenders were digging into as a badger sett. Through Steve’s knowledge, he was able to highlight the evidence to other officers also attending and was able to show the need for the males to be arrested, and all evidence secured including the dogs present. 

He was instrumental in ensuring the area of the sett was treated as a crime scene and that any disturbance or interference should be undertaken only in respect of gathering evidence for the investigation as per our Class Licence, this was bearing in mind two terriers were still within the sett and there were of course concerns for their welfare.

Due to both Steve and PS Andrew Beadmans prior training they were pivotal in ensuring the relevant offences were identified from the outset and that the investigation was carried out accordingly.

The story given by the offenders at the time could easily have been believed by officers who have had no training or knowledge of wildlife crime and allowed the males to either carry on or leave the scene as persons lawfully ratting with permission where their dogs had run off and entered some rabbit holes."