The Scottish Executive has launched a consultation to look at how the criminal justice system could be put to better use in the fight to protect the environment.

The consultation paper will look at pollution, waste, contaminated land, drinking water, wildlife crime and damage to the historic environment.

Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth has welcomed the launch, with the NGO’s Scottish chief executive, Duncan McLaren, saying: “To ensure a safe, clean environment for everyone in Scotland it is important that environmental crime is tackled appropriately and effectively.

“Otherwise responsible companies will be undercut by the cowboys and jobs put at risk, businesses will fall behind the standards necessary to compete in leading global markets and consumers will continue to face unnecessary hazards and expensive products.

“Other countries already have environmental courts or tribunals in place. It us certainly worth looking at whether Scotland’s environment and public would benefit from something similar.”

Sam Bond

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