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PSNI cops top award in bid to save falcons.

THE PSNI has won a prestigious award for its "outstanding contribution in reducing peregrine falcon persecution".

The force captured the Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year Award in recognition of its work to stop the birds being harmed.

PSNI wildlife officers used drones as part of the campaign which they say has eased pressure on the birds of prey.

The police received the award, sponsored by WWF, for their Operation Peregrine Watch.

The organisation described how the team used "innovative drone technology, a UK wildlife crime first, to keep check on falcon nests in at-risk areas and reduce the chance of illegal killings.

The WWF's Niki Rust said: "WWF is delighted that the Police Service of Northern Ireland and their partners have won the Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year Award for Operation Peregrine Watch.

"The peregrine falcon is a symbol of our national wildlife heritage that has been ruthlessly persecuted through years of illegal killings and the removal of eggs and chicks for collections and falconry.

"It's through the clever use of advanced technology, such as the drones, and the tireless work of all those in PSNI that we can ensure that these birds are monitored and protected all year round."

Supt Brian Kee, PSNI Service Lead for Wildlife Crime, said: "We are delighted to have been of assistance in the fight against wildlife crime, and are pleased to be able to continue to work with our partners. In total, 138 peregrine chicks have fledged this year, compared to the average annual production of 109."

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PRAISE WWF's Niki Rust

FLYING SQUAD Sgt Scott Fallis puts ring on bird

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 28, 2017
Words:271
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