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
Footnotes

75 page PDF

1.2 MB

Footnotes

1. The Ministerial commitment follows on from a commitment in the S.N.P. Manifesto 2011, p. 39.

2. Scottish Government, 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity, 2013, pp18 & 45; R.S.P.B. & Others, State of Nature Report 2013, pp. 14, 76-77; K. V. Last, 'Habitat protection: has the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 made a difference?' J. Env. L. 1999, 11(1), 15-34

3. See e.g. RSPB Birdcrime 2013 - Offences against wild bird legislation 2013, http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/birdcrime_2013_tcm9-397885.pdf. The RSPB supplied the group with data principally but not exclusively on bird crime prosecutions from the late 1970s onwards although it is not clear how complete this data is.

4. See e.g. Scottish Environment Link, Natural Injustice - Paper 2, Eliminating Wildlife Crime in Scotland (2015), para. 1.3; RSPB, Birdcrime 2013 - Offences against wild bird legislation in 2013, p. 8.

5. Subject also to the caveats expressed in the Wildlife Crime Annual Reports themselves about the recording of wildlife crime.

6. See http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/paw-scotland/about/groups/penalties-review.

7. Andy Mavin attended as an alternate when Robbie Allan was unavailable.

8. Alternative COPFS representatives attended when Sara Shaw was unavailable.

9. Minutes of Group Meetings may be found on the PAW Scotland website at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/paw-scotland/about/groups/penalties-review

10. See e.g. C. T. Reid, Nature Conservation Law, 3 rd ed, 2009, ch. 1.

11. Species protected under Directive 79/409 on wild birds ( OJ L 103/1, 25.04.1979); and Directive 92/43 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora ( OJ L 206/7, 22.7.92)

12. Scotland Act 1998, Sch. 5, Part II, C5.

13. See DEFRA, Consultation on proposed changes to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations, Feb. 2015 ( https://consult.defra.gov.uk/biodiversity/changing-cotes-regulations/supporting_documents/COTES%20Review%20%20Consultation%20Document.pdf).

14. See para. 27 below.

15. Criminal Justice Act 1982, s.54 which inserted a new s.289G into the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975, (as now substituted by the Criminal Justice Act 1991, ss.17, 101(1), Sch.12, para.6 and S.I. 1992/333, art.2(2), Sch.2).

16. The 2006 Act was primarily intended to deal with the welfare of animals other than wild animals living in the wild, but certain provisions may extend to wild animals which, for example, have become trapped.

17. Within the meaning of section 17 of the 2006 Act, as distinct from an animal of a "protected species" in the context of wildlife legislation.

18. Protection of Badgers Act 1992, s. 12(1A) (as inserted by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 and as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011).

19. This was effected by the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/1674). There are slightly lesser penalties on conviction on indictment introduced for making false statements in connection with the principal new offences.

20. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, s. 21(4ZA) inserted by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, s. 7(3)(c)(non-native species).

21. Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, s.19(4).

22. Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, reg 23(3).

23. Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, s.94(2).

24. Proceeds of Crime (Scotland) Act 1995, s.21.

25. Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, ss.248 and 248A.

26. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, s.21(6)(as amended).

27. Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994, reg.103. Vehicle is defined to include aircraft, hovercraft and boat.

28. Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 1997, reg.11. Vehicle is again widely defined as in the 2004 Regulations noted above in note 32.

29. Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, s.127.

30. Protection of Badgers Act 1992, s.12(4).

31. Protection of Badgers Act 1992, s.13(1).

32. Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996, s.6(1). However, vehicle is not further defined.

33. Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, s.9.

34. Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, ss.39-40.

35. Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, s.31(2)-(3).

36. Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, s.31(4).

37. Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, s.31(5).

38. Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 2003, s.60(1).

39. Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 2003, s.60.

40. The Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006, art.63.

41. Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994, reg.26.

42. Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, s.40(1)

43. Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Part 3.

44. See generally http://www.snh.gov.uk/protecting-scotlands-nature/species-licensing/bird-licensing/general/

45. Firearms Act 1968, s 30A

46. Firearms Act 1968, s 30C

47. Scottish Government Criminal Proceedings Database.

48. Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, s.204

49. Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, s.2227A

50. http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Proposals-for-bold-action-on-reoffending-1d98.aspx

51. See Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, s.14 as amended by the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, s.23.

52. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/03/27152708/0.

53. http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/news/press-releases/victims-com/vps-research.pdf.

54. Organisation 13.

55. Organisation 13; Organisation 8; Organisation 5; Individual 1; Organisation 9; Individual 2; Organisation 12.

56. Organisation 10; Organisation 12.

57. Individual 1.

58. Individual 1.

59. Individual 4.

60. Ibid. See section on alternative penalties below.

61. Organisation 13; Individual 5; Organisation 7.

62. Organisation 5.

63. Organisation 10.

64. Organisation 13 - and there are already higher maximums now available for introduction of non-native species.

65. Organisation 10.

66. Organisation 5; Organisation 12; Individual 2; Organisation 9.

67. Organisation 9.

68. Eg Organisation 2; http://news.stv.tv/tayside/271711-brandon-robb-and-benjamin-murray-appeared-at-kirkcaldy-sheriff-court/.

69. Organisation 7.

70. Organisation 8.

71. Individual 1.

72. Individual 1.

73. Individual 1.

74. Organisation 13, Individual 5; Organisation 8; Organisation 9.

75. Organisation 8.

76. Organisation 7.

77. Individual 5; Organisation 13; Organisation 5; Organisation 2; Individual 6. Seriousness might include, for example, where the offence involved cruelty.

78. Organisation 13; Organisation 10; Organisation 5; Organisation 7; Organisation 1; Individual 6; Organisation 3.

79. Individual 4; Individual 2; Organisation 12.

80. Organisation 12.

81. Organisation 7.

82. Individual 2.

83. Organisation 1.

84. Individual 6; Organisation 3; Individual 2.

85. Ibid.

86. Ibid.

87. Individual 2.

88. Ibid.

89. Organisation 13; Organisation 7.

90. E.g. Organisation 10; Organisation 5; Organisation 2; Organisation 7; Individual 6; Organisation 12.

91. Organisation 2; Organisation 3.

92. E.g. Organisation 11; Individual 5.

93. Ibid.

94. Ibid; and Organisation 8.

95. Individual 5; Organisation 2.

96. Organisation 8, Organisation 9.

97. Organisation 10.

98. Organisation 9.

99. Organisation 8; Individual 6.

100. Organisation 8; Organisation 9; Organisation 13; Individual 2.

101. Organisation 8; Organisation 9 made a similar point in a more general context.

103. Organisation 10.

104. Organisation 3.

105. Organisation 1.

106. Organisation 9. Individual 4 made a similar point.

107. Organisation 3.

108. See paras. 143-146.

109. Organisation 13.

110. Organisation 13; Individual 2; Organisation 9; Organisation 3.

111. Organisation 10.

112. Organisation 5; individual 6; Organisation 3; Organisation 12; Organisation 4; Individual 4.

113. Organisation 5; Individual 6.

114. Individual 1.

115. Organisation 1; Organisation 3; Organisation 4; Organisation 10.

116. Individual 4.

117. Individual 1.

118. Organisation 13.

119. Ibid.

Organisation 12.

Individual 1.

Organisation 5, Organisation 7

Organisation 10; Organisation 9; Organisation 5; Organisation 2.

Organisation 5.

Organisation 3.

Organisation 3.

127. PAW Legislation, Regulation and Guidance Group Letter to the Wildlife Crime Penalties Review dated 10 September 2014. See Annex 2

128. Organisation 12; Organisation 2; Organisation 7; Individual 5; Individual 6; Organisation 10; Organisation 5.

129. Organisation 7.

130. Organisation 2; Organisation 5.

131. Organisation 10.

132. Organisation 5.

133. Organisation 7.

134. Organisation 11.

135. Individual 6.

136. Individual 6, Organisation 1; Individual 5, Individual 4; Organisation 3.

137. Organisation 12.

138. Organisation 3.

139. Organisation 1.

140. Organisation 1; Organisation 13.

141. Organisation 13.

142. Organisation 1.

143. Organisation 1.

144. Organisation 12.

145. Individual 5.

146. Organisation 8; Organisation 13.

147. Individual 6.

148. Individual 4.

149. Organisation 2

150. Organisation 12.

151. Organisation 12; Organisation 5.

152. Organisation 7; Organisation 5.

153. Individual 6.

154. Individual 6.

155. Organisation 10.

156. Organisation 3.

157. See para. 53.

158. Individual 2.

159. Individual 2.

160. Ibid.

161. Individual 6.

162. Ibid.

163. Ibid. See also para. 148 below.

164. Organisation 7.

165. Individual 6.

166. Organisation 13.

167. Organisation 8.

168. This is dealt with in the section on impact statements above.

169. Organisation 13.

170. Organisation 3.

171. Individual 6.

172. Organisation 3, Organisation 1.

173. Organisation 1.

174. Individual 2; Organisation 1.

175. Individual 2.

176. Organisation 3.

177. Organisation 5.

178. See the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 - conviction on indictment introduced by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.

179. Thus damaging a SSSI can attract a fine of up to £40,000 on summary conviction (Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, s.19(4)) but contravening a Marine Conservation Order in place to protect a Marine Protection Area can attract a fine of up to £50,000 (Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, s.94(2)). See also para. 29 above.

180. See para. 27.

181. See Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, S.I. 2005/1674, Explanatory Memorandum, paras. 3,4 and 7.

182. See Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, s.21(4ZA) as inserted by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, s.17.

183. See para. 114.

184. Scotland has now paved the way for a similar approach through the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

185. See e.g. Control of Pollution Act 1974, s.31(7) (as inserted by the Water Act 1989, s.169 and Sch.23 which set the maximum fine on summary conviction for the principal water pollution offences as the statutory maximum (then £2,000) which was increased to £20,000 from 1 January 1991 by the Environmental Protection Act 1990, s.145(2). S.31(7) was then replaced from 1 April 1996 by s.30F(6) as a result of amendments by the Environment Act 1995 but the maximum fine on summary conviction remained the same. However, s.30F(6) was amended by the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004, Sch. 2, para. 2(2) to double the maximum penalty on summary conviction to £40,000 which came into force on 28 October 2004. These provisions were then replaced by the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (S.S.I. 2005/348) from 1 April 2006 which in turn were replaced by the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (S.S.I. 2011/209) from 31 March 2011 but the maximum fine on summary conviction remained the same. This note also illustrates the complexity of tracking the increases in penalties.

186. See Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004, s.66 and Sch.2; Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, s.41(1) (with the latter also increasing the maximum period of imprisonment on summary conviction to 12 months and 5 years on conviction on indictment).

187. See e.g. the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000, reg.30(2)(a).

188. See Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, reg.44(2)(a); Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012, reg.67(2)(a).

189. See e.g. Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, reg.44(2)(b); Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012, reg.67(2)(b).

190. Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, s.1.

191. According to the Bank of England inflation calculator ( http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/resources/inflationtools/calculator/index1.aspx), £5000 in today's terms would be £17,118.64 as at 23 October 2015.

192. Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law (OJ L328/28, 6.12.2008), Art.3.

193. Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Fines on Summary Conviction) Regulations 2015, reg.4 and Sch.4.

194. See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/unlimited-fines-for-serious-offences

195. See e.g. M. Poustie, 'Environment', Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia of the Laws of Scotland, 2007, para. 107.

See e.g. P. De Prez "Excuses, Excuses: The Ritual Trivialisation of Environmental Prosecutions" [2000] 12 J.E.L. 65; C. Lovat, "Environmental Prosecutions in Scotland - the figures" [2004] Env. Liability CS14; M. Poustie, 'Environment', Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia of the Laws of Scotland, 2007 paras. 107-116.

See paras. 131-134 below.

198. See para. 50 for the table providing details of average fines for wildlife offences.

199. See eg Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1995, s.227A

200. See Wildlife Crime Annual Report 2013, p.13.

201. Interview with Organisation 3.

202. Interview with Organisation 1.

203. Wilson v Transorganics 1996 S.L.T. 1014 sets out limits on the use of the practice.

204. Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, s.35.

205. Communication from Crown Office, 3 June 2015.

206. See e.g. Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service, Prosecution Code, pp. 3-5.

( http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk/images/Documents/Prosecution_Policy_Guidance/Prosecution20Code20_Final20180412__1.pdf) and Book of Regulations, chapter 23 ( http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk/images/Documents/Prosecution_Policy_Guidance/Book_of_Regulations/Book%20of%20Regulations%20-%20Chapter%2023%20-%20Plea%20Adjustment.PDF)

207. Ibid, Prosecution Code, p 11.

208. Communication from the Crown Office, 3 June 2015.

209. See para. 148 below.

210. See para. 106 above.

211. See e.g. B. Preston, 'Benefits of Judicial Specialization in Environmental Law: The Land and Environment Court of New South Wales as a Case Study' (2012) 29 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 396.

212. Scottish Executive, Strengthening and Streamlining: The Way Forward for the Enforcement of Environmental Law in Scotland (November 2006).

213. See S.N.P. Manifesto 2011, p. 39.

214. See M. Grant, Environmental court project: final report ( DETR, 2000).

215. See eg G. Pring and C. Pring, Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals (The Access Initiative, 2009).

216. See G. Pring and C. Pring, Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals (The Access Initiative, 2009); and B. Preston, 'Characteristics of Successful Environmental Courts and Tribunals' [2014] 26 J.E.L. 365-393.

217. For a good account of the background to the establishment of the Environmental Tribunal in 2010, see R. Macrory, 'The Long and Winding Road - Towards an Environmental Court in England and Wales' [2013] 25 J.E.L. 371-381.

218. See R. Macrory, Consistency and Effectiveness - Strengthening the New Environmental Tribunal ( UCL, 2011).

219. D.E.F.R.A., Environmental Permitting Consultation on draft Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (D.E.F.R.A., Feb 2013).

220. P. Hampton, Reducing Administrative Burdens - Effective Inspection and Enforcement (H.M. Treasury, 2005).

221. Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008; Tribunals and Courts Act 2007.

222. See e.g. A. Ogus, Regulation - Legal Form and Economic Theory (Oxford, 1994), p. 247.

223. See: http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=sv&u=http://www.ymparisto.fi/sv-FI/Natur/Arter/Fridlysta_arter&prev=/search%3Fq%3DFridlysta%2Barter%26start%3D10%26safe%3Dstrict%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D907.

224. See e.g. A. Ogus Regulation: Legal Form and Economic Theory (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1994), chs. 11 & 16.

225. See e.g. A. Ogus, "Nudging and rectifying: the use of fiscal instruments for regulatory purposes" [1999] Legal Studies 245.

226. See e.g. Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, s.40.

227. See e.g. Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (S.S.I. 2012/360), reg.57; Water Environment Controlled Activities (Scotland) Regulations (S.S.I. 2011/209), regs.32-33.

228. The Sentencing Council for England and Wales was established by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, Part 4. It replaced the Sentencing Advisory Panel and the Sentencing Guidelines Council from April 2010. See www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk.

229. Sentencing Council, Environmental Offences, Definitive Guideline, February 2014 ( www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk).

230. See R v Thames Water Utilities [2015] EWCA Crim 960.

231. See the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, Part 1.

232. See: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scottish-Sentencing-Council-date-announced-1614.aspx.


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