4. Process and methods
8. The group had 8 meetings up to and including the production of the first draft of this report  . The group considered a variety of sources of information including Scottish Government statistics on offences and penalties, NGO sources on wildlife crime, reports on sentencing guidelines and academic literature on environmental law enforcement. We were not able to consider penalties imposed in other states systematically because of lack of available data, lack of comparability of systems and time and resource limitations. However, some cases from other states have been drawn to our attention and we became aware of others through our research. These are considered in the appropriate sections of the report.
9. The Group considered it was important to seek stakeholders' views even though there was only limited time for this. A questionnaire was circulated to Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime ( PAW) Scotland stakeholders and also placed on the PAW Scotland website so it could be accessed by the public. This was not intended to be a full consultation since if there are any legislative proposals which follow from the work of the Group there would be full consultation on those.
10. Follow-up interviews were arranged with a number of stakeholders on the basis of their questionnaire responses and to ensure a representative balance of governmental and non-governmental organisations, expert individuals and members of the public. These allowed the Group to explore in more detail views expressed in the questionnaire. The interviews were conducted by Professor Poustie with Karen Hunter in attendance. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of questionnaire and interview responses was undertaken as appropriate. Further details of methods are discussed in the introduction to the section on the questionnaires and interviews.
11. Letters were also received from some stakeholders and these have been considered as part of the Group's proceedings.
12. The Group is grateful to all those who responded to the questionnaire and participated in the interviews for giving their time and views in order to better inform the Group's proceedings. The draft report was prepared by the Convenor and discussed and revised to the satisfaction of the group as a whole. It represents the views of the Group not the Scottish Government.