Wildlife crime has increased in Scotland by more than 10 per cent over the last year, according to new statistics released by the Scottish Government. Ministers described the hike detailed in the annual wildlife crime report as “frustrating”.

According to the figures released, there were 196 incidents in 2020, up from 171 in the previous year, an increase of 13 per cent. That’s in stark contrast to 2018 and 2019 when it dropped by more than 60 per cent. While crimes against birds dropped by 22 per cent – down from 46 to 36 – there were increases in cruelty to wild animals, offences related to deer, and fish poaching.