Publication - Progress report

Wildlife Crime Penalties Review Group: report

Published: 19 Nov 2015
Directorate:
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781785448317

Report from the review group commissioned by Scottish Government to examine whether the penalties for wildlife crimes were adequate and a deterrent.

75 page PDF

1.2 MB

75 page PDF

1.2 MB

Contents
Wildlife Crime Penalties Review Group: report
11. Recommendations

75 page PDF

1.2 MB

11. Recommendations

Levels of fines and custodial sentences

1. That maximum penalties available on summary conviction at least for the more serious offences, are raised to at least a £40,000 fine and up to 12 months imprisonment. That conviction on indictment is more commonly made available across the range of wildlife offences with a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 5 years. This would not necessarily require a stand-alone Act but could be achieved as part of the next Criminal Justice or Criminal Proceedings Act.
SHORT TERM

Use of impact statements

2. That the use of conservation/ecological impact statements and animal welfare impact statements is put on a more systematic basis than at present. This might initially be done on an administrative basis with the prosecution seeking these as a matter of course and where appropriate, from either SNH in the former case, or a vet in the latter case.
SHORT TERM

3. That this requirement is put on a legislative footing along the lines of the requirement for courts to consider victim statements before sentencing in other areas of criminal law where such statements are made available to the court and also providing the court with a power to order the preparation of such a statement from a relevant regulatory agency before it passes sentence.
MEDIUM TERM

Alternative penalties

4. That forfeiture provisions are extended and these and other alternative penalties are made consistent across the range of wildlife legislation as appropriate.
SHORT TERM

5. That where a firearm or shotgun is involved in the commission of a wildlife crime, the court should have the power to cancel the relevant certificate as is already the case in the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996.
SHORT TERM

6. That consideration should be given to amending firearms legislation which is reserved to the UK Parliament to allow the Chief Constable to withdraw a shotgun certificate where such a weapon has been involved in the commission of a wildlife crime not just on grounds of public safety but also on the grounds of a threat to the safety of wildlife.
MEDIUM TERM

7. That the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service should continue to consider the use of Proceeds of Crime legislation to the maximum extent possible in appropriate wildlife cases.
SHORT TERM

8. That wildlife crime offenders should be required to attend retraining courses, including courses on empathy where appropriate, either through Community Payback Orders or suspended sentences. This would require establishing that such courses are available and raising awareness of such courses amongst the judiciary.
SHORT TERM

Legislative coherence

9. That wildlife legislation should be consolidated.
MEDIUM TERM

Sentencing Guidelines

10. That with the establishment of the Scottish Sentencing Council in October 2015, sentencing guidelines are developed for wildlife offences in order to enhance the consistency and transparency of sentencing.
MEDIUM TERM


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