Despite some recent about-turns in UK environmental policy, a sentencing hearing at the Derby Crown Court held earlier this year has reaffirmed that making profit from wildlife crime will not be tolerated by the courts.
After the presence of bat roosts was discovered on site by an ecologist, ISAR Enterprises Ltd decided nonetheless to continue works as planned on the redevelopment of an office building. As a result, the bat roost was destroyed. As all bats are recognised as European Protected Species, it is an offence to damage or destroy their breeding sites or resting places.
ISAR was fined £3,000 for the offence of destroying or damaging a bat resting place during the redevelopment works and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs. However, in an unprecedented move, the Court also ordered the company to pay a confiscation order of £5,730 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This represented the sum ISAR had benefitted by in failing to protect the bat roost and brought the total bill for the company to £10,730.
For more information, please see the original article produced by the law firm Freeths LLP’s Environment Team – ‘Bat Crime: A new enforcement tool’: