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Under-Reported Crime Costing Scotland £2 Million

New figures have shown that wildlife crime in Scotland is under-reported and costing taxpayers around £2 million a year.

According to statistics from the National Farmers Union (NFU) wildlife crime, was costing around £2 million pounds and further damaging the farming industry. According to the report with no overall report on rural crimes, it was difficult to assess if the situation was getting worse. Despite this, the report found that even remote areas were now falling victims to crime.

Under-Reported

35 charities and organisations have spoken out about the failings in the criminal prosecution service when tackling crimes. Only 20 of the 148 confirmed wildlife crimes reported to the police during 2008-2013 resulted in a prosecution.

A report from LINK suggested 20 ways in which the situation could be improved in Scotland. The authors stated: “Overall, but with a few noticeable exceptions, there is, amongst LINK members, an overwhelming lack of confidence in the ability of the statutory agencies to adequately investigate wildlife crime and in the willingness of the judiciary to impose meaningful deterrent sentences.”

Ian Thomson, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland, said: “Together, these papers should be a wake-up call for those involved in tackling wildlife crime.

“A law is only as good as its enforcement and the comprehensive analysis contained in these papers shows that this is far from good enough here in Scotland.”

“High Level of Investigation”

Despite the criticism, Police Scotland insisted that they were doing their best to clamp down on rural crimes. A spokeswoman said: “This report covers crimes recorded between 2008 and 2013.

“Since April 2013, Police Scotland, as a single force, has brought a consistent, high level of investigation and investigative scrutiny to all reported wildlife crime, working closely with our key partners.”

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