Two specialist prosecutors appointed for wildlife crime

In February 2011, it was announced that a team of three full-time specialists would be appointed to tackle wildlife crime in Scotland (see here for announcement).

Six months later, the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC has announced that two specialists have been appointed. Kate Fleming and Shona McJannett will investigate and prosecute crimes committed against the environment. Their remit includes cases of animal cruelty.

Mulholland said: “COPFS [Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service] is committed to tackling crimes against Scotland’s precious wildlife and environment. Our new specialist prosecutors will continue to develop the skills and knowledge built up by COPFS to deal with these cases.

They will also further enhance the working relationships we have built up with investigating agencies, including the police and wildlife organisations. We know that serious and organised crime groups are becoming involved in environmental crime. Our specialist prosecutors will work closely with COPFS civil recovery and criminal confiscation specialists to ensure that any proceeds of crime will be recovered“.

There was no mention of a third specialist being appointed, nor any indication given of the two new specialists’ prior experience (success) of investigating and prosecuting wildlife crime. Nevertheless, here’s hoping we start to see some more effective prosecutions for raptor persecution crimes in the near future.

Thank you to the contributor who sent us the link to the article in the Scotsman (here).

2 Responses to “Two specialist prosecutors appointed for wildlife crime”

  1. 2 Dave Dick
    August 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    In my expereience with the prosecution of wildlife crime, it was successful only when the front line [investigationg police officer/local PF] responded quickly and efficiently to reported crimes [fast search/use of RSPB and/or SSPCA] and discussed charges and court strategy with the whole team – using experience of earlier cases.

    If you got that initial part right then the prosecutor [PF or Depute] had a fair chance in Court.

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