Scottish Environment LINK welcomes the publication of the Scottish Government’s Wildlife Crime report for 2015-16, and notes the continued improvement in explanation and detail. We commend the efforts made by Police Scotland and COPFS, often with the expert assistance of PAWS partners, in securing the convictions of a number of wildlife criminals during the course of the year, given the frequent difficulties in both obtaining sufficient admissible evidence and identifying a suspect in such cases.
We are, however, concerned that nowhere in the report does it acknowledge or explain the low likelihood of detection of a suspect, or indeed that the figures therein can only represent a sample of the unknown number of such crimes that are actually taking place. We also remain concerned at the apparent omission of some crime data, and discrepancies in the numbers and dates of incidents recorded between the police and specialist partner agencies. We are also concerned by the decline in the proportion of cases prosecuted by COPFS.
Scottish Environment LINK members note the evidence given to the Scottish Parliament Environment, Climate Change Committee by Police Scotland and the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service on 16th January 2017, and comment briefly on this.
Read the full LINK Wildlife Crime Subgroup Response.
For more information contact:
Eddie Palmer, Leader of the LINK Wildlife Crime Subgroup
Daphne Vlastari, LINK Advocacy Manager
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