Wildlife crime is a high priority for the Scottish Government, yet prosecution and conviction rates remain low for these types of crime. This results in part from the fact that many of these crimes occur in remote locations, meaning that Police Scotland face challenges in the gathering of sufficient evidence for the identification and prosecution of perpetrators. It has been shown that the perpetrator’s DNA can be recovered from the carcasses of poached deer and from baits, traps and carcasses in raptor persecution cases, but this technology has rarely been used in the investigation of these types of crime. We will develop a kit to collect human DNA from wildlife crime scenes, demonstrate that it can be effectively used to recover DNA of suitable quality and quantity to produce reportable profiles in the laboratory and natural environment, and develop a training programme to instruct individuals in the use of the kits. This will facilitate the capture of evidence at the scene of wildlife crimes, increasing the utilisation of forensic science at source for these cases, with the ultimate aim of increasing rates of prosecution and conviction of individuals who perpetrate crime against animals in Scotland.
Project funded by Nature Scotland Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime funding sub-group (£2K; C Gannicliffe, J Govan, PR Haddrill (Principal Investigator)) and Scottish Institute for Policing Research ‘Addressing the Future Research Challenges in Forensics’ Evidence and Investigation Network Collaborative Grants (£2K; J Govan, PR Haddrill (Principal Investigator)).
|Effective start/end date||3/04/19 → …|