Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross, has raised concerns about the level of Wildlife Crime in Moray which Police Scotland acknowledge is the highest in Scotland.

Speaking today Douglas said: “ I recently learned from scrutiny of Police Scotland Management Reports that Wildlife Crime reported incidents and detections across North East Division, which includes Moray, have dropped over the last year.

“In quarter four of 2017/18 there were 37 incidents reported with 100% detection rate but during the same quarter in 2018/19 year, there were 20 offences in North East Division with only six detections, giving a detection rate of 30%.

“I made contact with the Moray Area Commander to ascertain the reason for this dip. In response I was advised that in the year 2017/2018 the 37 detections included detection from crimes committed in 2015 and 2016/17. I understand of course that detecting Wildlife Crimes is notoriously difficult.

“That said, it’s concerning that recorded Wildlife Crime in Moray for the year 2018/19 is the highest level in Scotland.  

“I’m aware that the Police Wildlife Officer based in Moray and covering the North East Division is very proactive and spends a lot of time working in partnership with others to raise awareness of this type of crime.

Whilst I accept that this may account for Moray having a high level of this type of crime reported, due to the heightened awareness within the public domain, I am concerned by these stark figures which I will discuss at my next meeting with the Local Area Commander.

“Wildlife Crime poses significant harm to the species targeted by the criminals, as well as the communities who rely on wildlife for employment and tourism.