To date fines handed out for wildlife crimes have often been set so low that it has been cheaper to pay the fine, than take the necessary action to comply with the law. However, in a landmark case this year, a case was referred to the Crown Court to also allow the confiscation of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act, resulting in a much more significant penalty.
In April 2016, Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how ISAR Enterprises Ltd knowingly destroyed a brown long-eared bat resting place during the redevelopment of an office building. Instead of imposing a sentence on the company, the court referred the case to Derby Crown Court. This meant that, as well as imposing a penalty for the offence, assets belonging to the offenders equivalent to the amount saved by not following lawful processes, could be confiscated.
The Crown Court fined ISAR Enterprises Ltd £3000, and ordered them to pay £2000 costs. They also made a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act in the sum of £5730.