• STV
  • MySTV

Wildlife crime rise targeted with training of more police officers

The new campaign has been launched by Police Scotland to tackle the problem in cities, towns and rural areas.

Dead buzzard found in Highlands
RSPB

More police officers in Scotland are to be trained in identifying wildlife crime following a continuing rise in the number of reported incidents.

Almost 250 crimes were recorded between April 2014 and February 2015 which included bird poisoning, badger baiting and trading in endangered species.

The new campaign has been launched by Police Scotland to tackle the problem in cities, towns and rural areas and "substantially increase the number of officers with specialist knowledge".

More than 100 police officers will be trained to investigate incidents supporting an already established network of wildlife officers.

Assistant chief constable Malcolm Graham said: "Scotland's natural heritage is under threat from criminals preying on the country's iconic wildlife, either for sport or many cases for their own gain.

"Wildlife crime doesn't just happen in the countryside, it also occurs in urban areas.

"We have evidence of badger baiting metres from housing estates, deer being poached from city parks and bat roosts being destroyed. Wildlife crime occurs across all of our communities.

"Tackling wildlife crime is not just about law enforcement, it is about working with partners and the public to raise awareness, and to prevent it happening.

"By the time we are involved it is too late, that creature is lost and our landscape is poorer for the loss.

"We are committed to investigating wildlife crime. Our detection rate is increasing but investigations into wildlife crime can be difficult and prolonged, and the areas covered can be vast and remote.

"Our new campaign calls on the public to help us put an end to wildlife crime, to keep their eyes open and reporting suspicious activity and, by working together, protecting Scotland's wildlife heritage."

Environment minister Dr Aileen McLeod added: "In Scotland we have long recognised the value of our wildlife and the importance of protecting it.

"Today sees the launch of this important campaign by Police Scotland which will play a key role in raising awareness about wildlife crime and what people should do if they encounter it."

Members of the public are also being asked to report any suspicious activity involving wildlife with online and newspaper adverts being launched to raise awareness.

Jennifer Dunn, from the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: "It is a major issue in Scotland which the League Against Cruel Sports and other organisations have been working hard to bring to the attention of ministers and MSPs.

"It is crucial that people understand exactly what constitutes a wildlife crime and the impact it is has.

"Whether it's poaching, hare coursing, illegal hunting or birds of prey being persecuted through trapping, shooting and poisoning, the motives behind these crimes are invariably cruelty or financial.

"The impact wildlife crime has on the environment is immeasurable and the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and organisations which purport to represent rural areas must do all they can to stamp it out."

Feedback: We want your feedback on our site. If you've got questions, spotted an inaccuracy or just want to share some ideas about our news service, please email us on web@stv.tv.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

Join in: For debate, chat, comment and more, join our communities on the STV News Facebook page or follow @STVNews on Twitter.

Updates: Would you like STV’s latest news update in your inbox every morning? Choose from our range of regular e-newsletters here

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.