Moray has the highest number of wildlife crime incidents in Scotland, police have revealed.
New figures showed the region has the highest rate of recorded crimes for 2018/19 across the country.
Police claimed the increase could be attributed to their dedicated wildlife crime officer was based in the region and had worked hard to raise awareness and encourage the public to report offences.
But Moray MP Douglas Ross said it was concerning that crimes were on the increase when compared with the year prior.
He said: “It’s concerning that recorded wildlife crime in Moray for the year 2018/19 is the highest level in Scotland.
“I’m aware that the police wildlife officer based in Moray and covering the north-east division is very proactive and spends a lot of time working in partnership with others to raise awareness of this type of crime.
“Whilst I accept that this may account for Moray having a high level of this type of crime reported, due to the heightened awareness within the public domain, I am concerned by these stark figures which I will discuss at my next meeting with the local area commander.
“Wildlife crime poses significant harm to the species targeted by the criminals, as well as the communities who rely on wildlife for employment and tourism.”