Date lodged: 26 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its commitment to introduce a dedicated Scottish wildlife crime unit.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 16 April 2018
Following discussions with Police Scotland it was decided that the most effective use of resources would be for the Scottish Government to provide financial support for a twelve month pilot project involving the establishment of a new group of Special Constables and their equipment in the Cairngorms National Park who will focus on tackling wildlife and rural crime. If the pilot project is judged to be successful, consideration will be given to extending the scheme to other areas of Scotland. This project was launched on 16 March 2018. The Scottish Government also agreed with Police Scotland to provide financial support for a new detective post, to be based at the Scottish Crime Campus at Gartcosh. This new post will join the existing Police Scotland wildlife crime staff at Gartcosh and will provide investigative support for wildlife crime cases throughout Scotland. The new officer has been recruited and is in post.