Footage from a hidden camera placed by two former policeman investigating wildlife crime for the RSPB was used in the case.
For police to place surveillance within the estate they would have had to seek formal approval but they were technically exempt from any requirements made by the charity as the RSPB is not a public body, the judge said.It seems the RSPB is the next big charity in line (after Save The Children and the RSPCA) for a good hard look at its affairs...and it's been found wanting.
She added: 'The RSPB have effectively taken on the role of a police officer but did so without the scrutiny and oversight that comes with it.
'As soon as the RSPB have enough information to suggest the placing of a covert camera is needed to detect a crime, they should be referring the matter to the police.'They should indeed. But they probably saw the RSPCA getting away with it and though 'Hey, I'll have some of that!'...
The RSPB told the Times that similar evidence had been accepted in other cases.Interesting. Maybe someone ought to take another look at those, and at the judges that allowed it through...?