Some good new on the Wildlife Crime front!! On 5th February the UK Government committed to funding the NWCU until 2016 in its document, ‘UK commitment to Action on the Illegal Wildlife Trade’.
response to the announcement the Association of Chief Police Officers lead on Wildlife and Rural Crime, Chief Constable Simon Prince said:
“The National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) has a critical role in the prevention and detection of Wildlife Crime; the Unit collates and disseminates intelligence from forces and agencies across the country, which enables a coordinated approach to this form of criminality. Additionally, staff of the NWCU have specialist knowledge of this complex area of policing and provide expert advice to Police Officers throughout the UK who are responsible for the investigation of Wildlife Crime.
“This funding announcement is very much welcomed by the Police Service. Wildlife Crime can result in far reaching damage to certain species and the environment, and there are many who seek to illicitly profit from the trade in endangered species worldwide.
“The additional funding secures the future of the NWCU over the coming years, and ensures that we continue to have a national capability which is essential in identifying and bringing to justice those involved in this type of crime.”
The Head of Unit at the NWCU, Detective Inspector Nevin Hunter said:
“This funding commitment will enable the NWCU to continue to provide support to Police Wildlife Crime Coordinators and Police Wildlife Crime Officers across the UK. We will work with them to address the UK national wildlife crime priorities. The IWT announcement yesterday by the UK Government is hugely important, but it is vital that we also provide support to investigations involving bats, badgers, fresh water pearl mussels and where poaching and raptor persecution take place.
The development of the NWCU has seen the investigation of wildlife crime increasingly professionalised in recent years, with it being seen as relevant and important across the Police service. The unit will continue to support this – developing national standard operational practices in conjunction with the College of Policing.
In recent months the NWCU has worked closely with the Border Force and the newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA). The unit hopes to build upon the relationship with the NCA in order to address serious and organised crime in whatever form it takes to ensure the conservation of not only globally important, but also iconic species of wildlife across the UK”.
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