NATURE PROTECTION Service (SEPRONA), part of Spain’s Guardia Civil, arrested an incredible 3,957 people for crimes related to the environment during 2020.
Worryingly, crimes that have increased the most are those related to animal abuse and hunting.
Such investigations and operations followed the same upward trend as previous years, although arrests increased only slightly, with 630 detentions.
Regulations on dumping and waste resulted in over 17,000 complaints, but actions relating to pets and animal health had close to 19,000.
Some 6,800 infractions related to the regulations on flora, fauna and natural spaces meant a 30% increase on the previous year.
In all, over 200,000 administrative infractions were recorded.
The coronavirus pandemic and sanitary regulations have had an effect on environmental crime, also.
The illegal dumping of used gloves and masks is increasing the presence of waste in rivers and seas, resulting in over 130,000 related offenses.
However, the almost universal closure of the hospitality trade during various lockdown has meant that interventions relating to food and public health dropped to only 117 reported crimes and 259 arrests.
The SEPRONA of the Guardia Civil, has developed different collaborations with international police organizations such as EUROPOL or INTERPOL, for the development of international operations.
Likewise, it carries out joint operations with European police officers such as the Portuguese GNR, French GNF, the Italian Carabinieri Corps and with third countries such as the Moroccan GRM, the Colombian National Police and among others.