The Flying Squad

Documentary examining the work of RSPB investigators

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Compiled by MAURICE DENNING

Introduced by RONALD FLETCHER The formation of a modern arm of Scotland Yard, using fast cars, radios, and new methods of penetrating into criminal haunts began at the end of the first world war. It was needed to combat the new wave of criminals operating in London and the Home Counties. Since those days Scotland Yard's Flying Squad has always prided itself on being two jumps ahead of the criminal.

The programme includes a variety of interviews with police officers.

Produced by ALAN BURGESS †

Contributors

Unknown: Maurice Denning

Introduced By: Ronald Fletcher

Produced By: Alan Burgess

01The Egg Collectors20040712

Scotland is home to some of the UK's rarest birds.

Golden eagles, red kites, peregrines and ospreys breed in the Highlands.

But their very survival is threatened by a dedicated band of criminals with an obsession for collecting birds' eggs.

This series offers an exclusive insight into the RSPB Investigation Unit's fight to protect wildlife from their most dangerous predator - man.

02 LASTPoisoning, Trapping And Shooting20040719

Nest raiders are the high profile end of the unit's work.

Less visible, but arguably more important, is their investigation of bird poisoning and snaring.

The bad old habits of targetting raptors to protect game-birds still exist on too many sporting estates.

The hen harrier is the most targetted bird in Britain because of its unpopularity on grouse moors.

The RSPB reckons up to 75 females are killed each year, but most persecution happens on private land and goes unseen and unreported.

Poisoned bait and traps are indiscriminate, they kill buzzards, red kites, golden eagles but also owls - and the occasional fox, badger or dog.

Dave's team check out every report and supervise post mortems, waiting for evidence of poison before confronting otherwise respectable landowners and game keepers.

We have secured unprecedented access to this highly sensitive area of the RSPB's work.

Dave Dick is our main contributor, with significant input from the rest of the RSPB team and local bird protection groups.

The series offers an exciting insight into the adventure, passion and occasional pain of the RSPB Investigation team in Scotland.

Presenter Euan Mcilwraith has spent long hours staking out nests with Dave Dick and his team this spring.