Fife Police have created a new role to tackle the complex and often disturbing area of wildlife crime with the creation of a Wildlife and Environmental Crime Coordinator.
With 24yrs service Constable Ian Laing brings with him considerable experience and will co-ordinate and investigate the Forces response to wildlife crime across Fife area. Key to this will be the formation of a Wildlife Crime Partnership, bringing together a range of agencies with responsibility for the management and welfare of the Fauna and Flora of Fife.
This will meet key recommendations in the joint thematic inspection report by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland (HMICS) and the Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland (IPS) 'Natural Justice' published in April 2008. PC Laing will also coordinate the work of six existing Wildlife and Environmental Crime Officers who combine this specialist skill with their operational policing role, in order to ensure that the force is engaging fully with partner agencies to tackle wildlife crime more effectively.
ACPOS lead on Wildlife and Environmental Crime, Iain MacLeod Deputy Chief Constable of Central Scotland Police said' I welcome the appointment of a Wildlife and Environmental Crime Coordinator by Fife Constabulary which further enhances the commitment to tackling environmental and wildlife crime across Scotland. The role will bring significant benefits through improved partnership working at both local and national level'.
Chief Superintendent Alistair McKeen , Head of the Force's Specialist Services Department said of the development,. "The new role of Wildlife & Environmental Crime Co-ordinator provides an exciting opportunity to raise the stakes for those who exploit our natural heritage either for profit or out of sheer cruelty. We are particularly pleased that Fife Coast & Countryside Trust have agreed to provide a base for PC Laing at the Harbourmasters House in Dysart, reinforcing our commitment to working closely with partners on this issue.
As a force we have recognised that Wildlife Crime is under-reported at present, and in the few weeks since Ian's appointment, the amount of new intelligence and information coming to light has been hugely encouraging. There is no doubt that the resources exist in Fife to deal with these types of crime more effectively, and our aim is to bring partners to the table and agree on joint efforts to tackle a range of problems from poaching to badger baiting, raptor poisoning or dog fighting. We are aware that there are links to organised crime in some of these activities, and that those who engage in cruelty towards animals are also likely to be involved in other forms of abuse. My message to such individuals is that the odds are being stacked against them, and we aim to bring them to justice".