SCUM method

The Sensing Clues United Modelling (SCUM) method is a structured brainstorm to create collaborative tactical anti-poaching plans that work. It is based on years of law enforcement experience and is proven effective.

In the SCUM-workshop participants from different organisations and disciplines explore all aspects of the wildlife crime problem. This could be poaching, illegal logging, dumping of waste, or any other form of environmental crime. Because every area, threatened species, and poachers network and modus operandi is different, so are the solutions that have to be found to stop them.

In the SCUM-workshop we explore what it takes for a poacher to be successful. That is, what the criminals needs to organise to mount a successful poaching operation, to find and track the animals, to kill the animal, to secure their loot, to leave without being caught, and to sell the trophies to clients.

In each of these steps, poachers have to interact with partners and service providers. Some of them may be legal (e.g. car rental, provisioning). Others may be illegal (e.g. ivory sellers). Based on the information and knowledge that is analysed during the workshop, the participants device a set of counter measures which they regard within reach. Together these measures form a Barriers Model, which will include, for example, measures to obstruct the poachers, to collect more intelligence about them, and to catch them red-handedly. The latter is where smart field sensors come into play.

The SCUM-method not only stimulates innovation and programmatic collaboration among law enforcers, rangers and other environmental protectors. It also improves the effectiveness of the early warning system and reduces its cost. Indeed, by knowing more about the problem, the selection and placement of sensors is much more specific.

A SCUM-workshop usually costs a few days. It is, however, the start of an process in which ideas and tactics to fight wildlife crime are being developed and tested – in practice, without delay.