SLE statement on wildlife crime statistics

Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates has issued the following statement regarding the reported rise in wildlife crime in Scotland since April. 

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: "A steep rise in any form of wildlife crime is a concern but the data is reflective of the huge 282% increase in fish poaching throughout this period. Indeed, throughout the pandemic, our rural areas have become hotspots for not just poaching but anti-social behaviour, flytipping, vandalism and various other crimes.

"Hare coursing has been one of the most prevalent wildlife crime offences for many years and we applaud the action taken by Police Scotland and other stakeholders to tackle this issue.

"More than half of all wildlife crimes are being solved this year, with a 20.9% increase in detection rates, and this demonstrates the continued importance of awareness raising and intelligence sharing. It also underlines that resources for specialist wildlife crime police can make a real impact on tackling this issue. It will also be aided by the introduction of tougher penalties for those found guilty, something which we requested for many years."