New specialist prosecutors appointed for wildlife and environmental crime
COPFS is delighted to announce the appointment of the first full-time specialist prosecutors of wildlife and environmental crime.
Kate Fleming and Shona McJannett took up their new posts on Monday 15 August, and will now take responsibility for all wildlife and environmental cases across Scotland.
Kate has been an environmental specialist prosecutor for several years and is based at the Procurator Fiscal's office in Glasgow. Shona's interest in environmental law goes back to her days at university and she has prosecuted both wildlife and environmental cases in her previous post in Fife. She is now based in the PF office in Edinburgh.
Working with wildlife and environmental crime investigators from the outset, they will investigate, "mark" for prosecution and prosecute all cases involving crime against wildlife and the environment. They will also deal with animal cruelty cases.
They will be managed by Tom Dysart, Area Procurator Fiscal for Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway, who currently leads COPFS in this area of law.
They will be further supported by Alex Prentice QC, Principal Crown Counsel. He was appointed Crown Counsel for wildlife and environmental cases in February 2010.
The appointment of these full-time specialists builds on work already undertaken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to tackle wildlife crime more effectively. The specialists will work closely with police, SEPA, SSPCA and other investigators to share their knowledge and experience.
COPFS receives reports in relation to around 100 wildlife and environmental crimes each year.
In September 2004, COPFS set up a national network of specialist wildlife prosecutors to tackle these cases. These specialists carried out this work alongside their duties as general prosecutors. Kate and Shona replace the existing specialist network and as full-time, dedicated specialists, they will build on the successes of their colleagues.
It is well-recognised that serious and organised crime groups are becoming involved in environmental crime. Kate and Shona will work closely with COPFS civil recovery and criminal confiscation specialists to ensure that any proceeds of crime will be recovered.