Appendix 2. Duke of Edinburgh Scheme
At the time of this inspection, Constable Craig Borthwick of Strathclyde Police was the campus-based community officer at Bannerman High School, Glasgow. In addition to being a WECO with his force, PC Borthwick is a qualified Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader - a qualification that he gained outwith his police duties.
Since January 2007, PC Borthwick had successfully combined these specialisms and had designed and implemented a DoE award structure with wildlife crime at the core of the 'Service' and 'Expedition' elements. At the time of writing, 12 pupils from the school had successfully participated in this award, which concluded in September 2007.
The 'Service' section of the Duke of Edinburgh award is intended to encourage participants to perform some form of voluntary service to individuals or to the community. The 'Service' section of the award structure devised by PC Borthwick centred on raising participants' awareness of matters associated with the prevention and detection of wildlife crime. This he did by giving pupils the opportunity to learn about the work of Strathclyde Police and other agencies through a number of guest speaker theory sessions, followed by a series of practical field sessions, again using agency experts. Examples of the theory sessions undertaken are given below:
- the role of the police WECO;
- the work of the SSPCA in relation to wildlife crime;
- wild bird persecution through poisoning, trapping and egg collecting;
- the Countryside Ranger Service in Glasgow;
- the work of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation;
- Scottish Badgers;
- The Deer Commission for Scotland; and
- Hessilhead Wildlife Sanctuary.
The practical field sessions comprised:
- inputs from BASC, highlighting the signs of urban poaching and the illegal use of air weapons;
- tracking and surveying roe deer in the urban environment;
- inputs from Scottish Badgers on detecting and tracking badgers; and
- participation in the Sea Eagle Protection Watch on the Isle of Mull.
The 'expedition' element of the award involved a practice expedition to the Isle of Mull, where the group was given the opportunity to trace and observe local animal and bird life. This was followed some weeks later by the qualifying expedition to the Isle of Rhum.
We believe that this is an excellent example of preventative work in relation to wildlife crime and exactly the type of approach that PAW (Scotland) should be seeking to expand. Moreover, it clearly demonstrates the expertise and resources that the wide membership brings to PAW (Scotland) and which can be harnessed to good effect.