A report in the Independent today seems to indicate that the Home Secretary is dragging her heels over signing of the next round of budget for the National Wildlife Crime Unit. The Home Office contribution to the annual cost of the 10-person unit is just £136,000 but no decision has yet been made while other funders have made the commitment.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit is a highly effective police unit that helps to co-ordinate national operations and investigations in the UK. From tackling the UK side of the rhino horn trade through to illegal imports of reptiles and other species through to protecting the UK’s own native wildlife the unit is an essential part of law enforcement.
The Home Office has said that a decision for the next round of funding will be made by the end of the current financial year but with police cuts of 20% there is no guarantee that this small unit will be protected.
Considering the small cost of the unit to the Home Office we’d like you to join us by sending our email petition to the Home Office to ask that they quickly commit to fully funding their portion of the running cost of the National Wildlife Crime Unit.
Update: 23rd January 2013. The National Wildlife Crime Unit has been funded for another year. However surely a long term funding strategy is required for sch an important organisation.
Independent: Wildlife crime unit faces extinction over funding crisis.