The deadline is 1st September for written responses. Granting of investigative powers to SSPCA Inspectors could set a precedent for future wildlife crime policing and we urge members to have their say.
This is a very simple consultation with just two questions and response forms can be downloaded at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/1374
Scottish Land & Estates will be submitting a comprehensive response which will focus on seven key questions:
- Legal powers for SSPCA and will the public support a changed role?
- Are SSPCA accountable in the same way as the police – vetting of employees, disciplinary procedures and rights of redress?
- Training and competence of SSPCA inspectors and access to police resources
- Is there a need for any new measures – wildlife crime incident are now lower than when the idea was first put forward?
- The concerns of politicians, prosecutors and police – the people responsible for law enforcement
- Are SSPCA compromised by their campaigning objectives – particularly in relation to snaring?
- Is long term SSPCA funding secure and would it continue if Inspectors role was changed?
Scottish Land & Estates want to stress that they strongly support the work of SSPCA but are concerned that there are too many serious questions for additional powers to be granted without extensive new safeguards. The debate is about the principle of a charitable body being responsible for policing.