Wildlife Crime Unit
The Assembly notes the important role of the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) in tackling wildlife crime in London. This includes the illegal sale of endangered species and parts of animals such as tortoises, elephants and rhinos, illegal fishing and poaching, badger baiting, and acts of harm to local wildlife such as swans, deer and birds. Such incidents are criminal and can sometimes be linked to other forms of criminality, including serious organised crime.
The Assembly further notes that, for the past two years, the WCU has been partially funded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), but that this funding will no longer be available from April 2014.
The Assembly believes that it is important that London continues to be able to tackle wildlife crime effectively. The Assembly therefore calls upon the Mayor to ensure that sufficient funding is available from April 2014 so that the work of the WCU can continue. The Assembly further calls upon the Mayor to ensure that the work of the WCU is regularly publicised to increase public awareness of its achievements.