CALLS have been made for CCTV to be installed around St Nicholas Park in Warwick after a swan was stolen from her nest.
A resident whose home overlooks the Kingfisher Pool near St Nicholas Park watched in horror from her window as a four-strong gang surrounded the mum-to-be before grabbing her and taking her away in the early hours of the morning at the end of March. The swan was one of four seen regularly around the pool and on the nearby River Avon.
It is understood she was taken as she prepared to lay her eggs.
Members of Friends of St Nicholas Park say they have been left shocked by the theft and are calling on Warwick District Council to install CCTV.
The group say they have been asking for cameras in the park for many years but the theft had made their installation more urgent.
Spokeswoman Linda Bromley said along with protecting wildlife it was also needed for the safety of children using the park to walk to and from school.
She told the Observer: “The recent report of a swan being taken has shocked local residents and users of the park.
“How barbaric to remove a swan on her nest, presumably for food, showing contempt for our wonderful wildlife and a self-centred disregard for the feelings of the community. Do they realise that swans are the property of the Queen and it is a crime to harm them?
“If Warwick District Council had heeded the many requests of the Friends’ and local schools, we would have CCTV cameras in place along this desolate route to school for hundreds of schoolchildren. Cameras would offer some protection for the children and a deterrent to poachers.
“Shame on you Warwick District Council. It’s time you invested in our safety and that of our precious wildlife.”
The council acknowledged the need for cameras in the park but said locations were laid out by government guidelines.
A spokeswoman said: “The council’s CCTV system was installed primarily as a town centre system to prevent and detect crime.
“We are governed under the principles of government’s surveillance camera commissioner regarding the location and installation of new cameras. We would not be able to meet the pressing need in this location under these guidelines.
“We will continue to monitor the situation.”