Police to train specialists in wildlife crime

New police training to detect and investigate instances of wildlife crime has been welcomed by Scottish Land & Estates.

Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP has announced that Police Scotland has today (Monday 20 January) launched a new wildlife crime investigators course to enhance capability in this complex area of local policing.

It comes after a number of incidents which have seen a number of tagged raptors found dead or go missing.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates said: ‘We are fully supportive of increased resources to tackle wildlife crime alongside tougher penalties for those who are convicted so this is a positive announcement by government.

‘Equipping police officers with the specialist training and knowledge they need to investigate wildlife crime should aid detection rates and hopefully lead to more offenders being brought to justice.

‘The government’s wildlife crime report published last month highlights that despite a decrease in the level of wildlife crime in Scotland over the past five years there remains a clear need to maintain momentum on this issue.

‘For those found guilty of such reckless acts, we continue to call for longer prison sentences and bigger maximum fines for the most serious wildlife crimes.

‘We also believe that enabling police to use and manage surveillance cameras under strict regulation of Investigatory Powers Scotland Act 2000 procedures where evidence suggests there could be acts of wildlife crime, could act as a real deterrent and could lead to more prosecutions. This would enable those police officers who are about to embark on their new training to work even more effectively in the future.’