In absence of timely data, enforcement agencies cannot act against criminals
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has issued an advisory to ensure timely and uniform reporting of wildlife-related crimes. The advisory has been issued to Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Coast Guard, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Railway Police Force (RPF), Sasastra Seema Bal (SSB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), states and Union Territories’ police and their respective principal chief conservators of forests. The agencies have been asked to step up an action against wildlife offences and ensure timely and uniform reporting of such crime.
Under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the agencies are empowered to seize wildlife articles and detain persons involved in an offence, within their respective jurisdictions. The advisory further states, “Crime data play a vital role in prevention and detection of crimes, resource allocation and to devise meaningful counter measures. It is, therefore, imperative that authentic data about crimes and criminals are available with the authorities concerned.”
Shyam Bhagat Negi, additional director at WCCB told Down To Earth, “The timely reporting of wildlife offences is necessary as we are maintaining the National Wildlife Crime Trend Database mandated under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Any delay in receiving information on seizures of wildlife specimens and detention of people involved in crimes makes it difficult to effectively counter them.”
Lauding the efforts of the law enforcement agencies on measures taken to control wildlife crime, Negi added, “Wildlife crime is an organised crime and requires assistance from various law enforcement agencies. We are very happy with the way these agencies have been ensuring to control wildlife crime and we are very happy with the cooperation we receive despite the limitations that each department faces internally. The limitations, including the shortage of staff, have never been a deterrent in the bodies trying to contain wildlife crime.”
WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
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