I first decided to set up this website yeterday as I had been waiting what I thought was a long time. I was also concerned about the possibility that the Poustie report would reach the Scottish Parliament. I googled for it yesterday to find that it is listed to reach the Parliament in year 2017/2018.
I do not know if it has been passed, and it may already be too late.
One of the recommendations is that the maximum penalty for wildlife crime be increased to 2 years from 6 months. My petition has 2 aims, one is to increase the penalty to 3 years which would satisfy the concerns expressed by the Police representative at a meeting of the ECCLRC this year.
It is now too late for my petition to go through the process and hope to catch the optimum timing, which could I assume be achieved by an amendment to the proposal.
I have sent a link to this blog to my MSPs, the members of the ECCLRC and the Cabinet secretaries for Environment and Justice, and to the speakers at a Law Seminar on these matters at Aberdeen University.
I do not know any MSPs personally, and can only hope that it can be arranged that someone proposes an amendment to the bill as it comes to the chamber.
I’m sure that the person proposing the amendment could come from any party, as the change make a great deal of sense, and it would be dreadful to leave the Police force still powerless to investigate wildlife crime properly, as they have clearly indicated.
The difficulty is then that the amendment needs to pass by a majority. I would be the first to admit that the subject is unlikely to be a first priority for any MSPs.
I can only hope to reach a few MSPs by means of this blog.
My miracle solution is this.
Although any party is likely to propose the amendment, I feel that it is likely that the Tory Party will ask all its MSPs to vote against this, not because it does not make sense, but many of the people in Scotland whom it represents will not wish this to be passed for the obvious reason.
Thus I would ask the senior party members of all other parties to ensure that their members vote for the amendment if I or someone else can find someone to propose it. They would look pretty stupid if they let it fail for lack of interest.
I know it is not much, and I may be wrong about the conservative party, but it could work, and it is just like me to suggest it.
Here is the wording of the email sent today:
“Petition to the Scottish Parliament – Wildlife Crime
I am writing to you …. about a petition which I submitted to the Scottish Parliament on 15th March 2018.
I am not aware of how long a petition normally takes but each time I have telephoned I have been assured that it is a valid petition which is almost at the front of the queue but not quite yet.
My only concern over the delay, if indeed it is being delayed, is that the report available from a Review Group which was set up in the context of a Ministerial commitment to enhance the enforcement of wildlife crime particularly in relation to the level of penalties imposed. The Group, chaired by Professor Mark Poustie of Strathclyde University reported in 2015. It is expected that at some stage the penalty for wildlife crime will be increased to 2 years. This is not enough. If the penalty is less than 3 years it is not regarded as a serious crime and the police are limited in what action they can take in respect of a reported possible crime. They cannot, for instance, set up covert video cameras, and the searches they can undertake in detection of crime are more limited unless a crime is considered serious.
My petition seeks to increase the penalty to 3 years.
Further information may be found in a website I have set up to support the petition because the delay is starting to concern me. At least if you are aware of my concern if the Poustie recommendations come to the chamber you would be able to make yourself aware of the issue.
I need someone to propose an amendment to the recommendations, and am considering how to get an amendment to succeed, if I can get it into the chamber. I think I may have designed a foolproof way to have this happen, and will write an article later today once I have got my thoughts together.
The website is located at :
I would be grateful if you could find the time to read at least part of the information. It would be a long read unfortunately due to the complex subject, but is divided into small chunks as posts.
Alex. S. Milne”