Continued funding secured for National Wildlife Crime Unit
Wednesday 23rd January: The National Wildlife Unit (NWCU) today received confirmation that it will continue to receive critical funding needed for the unit to secure its future and remain in operation until 2014.
Announcing the funding, Richard Benyon said: “Wildlife crime is a very serious issue with organised gangs using the proceeds from illegally traded items like rhino horn to fuel other illegal activities. It’s right that a specialist unit supports the police in bringing these people to trial. The funding for another year will mean the unit can continue to bring criminals to justice and tackle the illegal wildlife trade both at home and abroad.
Launched in 2006, the NWCU is one of the world's leading organisations devoted to combating wildlife crime. The Unit works solely to gather evidence and intelligence from the Police, border agencies and organisations, such as ourselves, to help target perpetrators of wildlife crime.
The Government's decision came after more than 100 MPs had signed an early day motion calling for the future of the Unit to be secured.
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports comments on today’s announcement: “Renewed funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit means that wildlife criminals across the country will need to take a sharp intake of breath today, and be sure to check over both shoulders before committing any acts of cruelty to our wildlife. League investigators working closely with partner organisations, including the NWCU and the police, will be waiting and watching ready to catch those who break the law.
“Whilst we welcome the Home Office’s decision, we call on the Government to secure permanent financial support in the future; this stop-start funding means there is a considerable risk of the Unit losing their best and most experienced staff.”