Conservation rangers and law enforcement
Sir, – Further to “Gardaí to train park rangers in the effort to tackle wildlife crime” (News, January 19th), while rangers welcome additional support and training from the Garda Síochána, law enforcement is already the core function of the National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers.
For this purpose, conservation rangers (not park rangers) are appointed as Authorised Persons under the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2018, and are authorised officers under the EU Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations 2011, the EU Birds and Natural Habitats, the Restrictions on the Use of Poison Bait Regulations 2010, and authorised persons under the Wildlife Act, 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 1986. These are serious and onerous functions.
In matters of wildlife crime law, the NPWS conservation ranger is the lead investigator. The ranger detects the alleged offence, investigates it, and based on the strength of the evidence, the person who prepares the files for prosecution.
Rangers have already done this on numerous occasions. The prosecutions are there to prove it. They will continue to carry out their law enforcement duties. – Yours, etc,
Assistant General Secretary,
Fórsa, Dublin 1 .