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Wildlife Crime in Scotland - 2012 Annual Report

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Key Data

The Scottish Government Justice Department holds data on all crimes in Scotland. Table 1 shows the figures for offences recorded under relevant legislation. There are several caveats to the use of this data.

Table 1: Court Proceedings for Wildlife Offences for Period 2007/08-2011/12

Legislation Offences Relating to? 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Proceeded against Guilty Proceeded against Guilty Proceeded against Guilty Proceeded against Guilty Proceeded against Guilty
Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 Birds 14 5 10 7 7 5 6 4 15 12
Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 Cruelty to wild animals 10 4 9 8 4 3 2 2 4 3
Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 Hunting with dogs 15 6 8 6 10 7 9 3 5 0
Protection of Badgers Act 1992 Badger offences 11 7 1 0 2 2 3 3 2 1
Animal Health & Welfare Act 2006, Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and Control of Trade in Endangered Species(Enforcement) Regulations 1997 Other wildlife offences 6 6 11 6 2 2 4 4 11 10
Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 2003, Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Protection)(Scotland) Act 1951 and Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed Order) Possession of Salmon or trout unlawfully obtained 3 1 3 3 0 0 1 1 2 1
Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976, Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 Salmon and freshwater fisheries 25 20 32 26 3 2 21 17 16 11
Game (Scotland) Act 1772, Game (Scotland) Act 1832, Night Poaching Act 1828, Poaching Prevention Act 1862 Poaching & Game laws 6 6 3 2 4 3 8 4 8 5
Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 Deer offences 2 2 0 0 0 0 3 3 8 5
Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 Other conservation offences 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1
TOTALS 93 58 78 58 33 25 57 41 72 49

A single crime or offence recorded by the police may have more than one perpetrator, or alternatively, an individual may be convicted of several cases of the same crime. There is the possibility that the crime or offence recorded by the police may be altered in the course of judicial proceedings, while a crime or offence may be recorded by the police in one year and court proceedings not concluded until a later year.

The final charges listed are for the main offence only. Therefore if a wildlife offence has been proven, however it is secondary to a firearms offence, the firearms offence will be listed as the main offence. In this scenario, the wildlife offence will be unrecorded. This is standard procedure by the Crown Office and the courts when recording any type of offence. Additionally, crimes and offences alleged to have been committed by children less than 16 years old are also generally dealt with through the children's hearings system rather than through the courts and will also not be shown.