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Environmental Crime Taskforce

What is the Taskforce?

The Environmental Crime Taskforce (established by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment) is a group of experts tasked with of supporting delivery of the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling environmental crime.


Why was it created?

Its creation recognised that criminal activities have a significant impact on the environment, the economy and society and that the most effective way to tackle environmental crime is by building on existing partnership working between those responsible for tackling environmental crime.


Who is on it?

The Taskforce is chaired by SEPA’s Director of Operations (Calum MacDonald) and membership includes:

  • Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS)
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
  • Environmental Quality Division - Scottish Government
  • Justice – Scottish Government
  • Natural Resources Division – Scottish Government
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (UK) (SOLACE)


How can I feed in?

The Taskforce has identified a number of groups that it will proactively engage with as part of its deliberations. People who wish to make contact with the Taskforce should approach John Kenny (john.kenny@sepa.org.uk )


What will it achieve?

The Taskforce will

  1. Define environmental crime.
  2. Identify opportunities and priorities for preventing, tackling and deterring environmental crime in Scotland.
  3. Improve co-ordination between law enforcement agencies and others.
  4. Make proposals for legislation, research and other measures to tackle environmental crime.


When will it report?

The Taskforce presented its report to Ministers in July 2013.


What next?

As part of the Better Environmental Regulation programme, the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 will introduce a new enforcement framework which will strengthen SEPA’s ability to impose penalties upon environmental criminals. The Act will also help take forward the recommendations from the Environmental Crime Task Force report.

The Taskforce will continue to meet to discuss how to progress the other recommendations in the report and continue the good partnership.