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Organisation Reference Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit
Wildpro Referenced Responsibilities:- Conventions, Legislation, Codes of Conduct, Manuals --
Notes

This information has been provided by the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit and is supplied in its original format.

The Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit is responsible for upholding and enforcing the many laws protecting wildlife in the Greater London Area.

Policing an area which combines a large urban centre with extensive surrounding countryside inevitably means that the Unit deals with a wide range of wildlife crimes from the illegal persecution of badgers, birds and other protected species in the London Area, to the illegal international trade in endangered species from all over the world.

London is also home to some individuals who travel widely throughout the UK and abroad to commit crimes against wildlife. This means that the Wildlife Crime Unit often deals with cases involving the collecting of rare birds eggs, and even live birds of prey like Peregrine Falcons and Goshawks which have been taken from the wild illegally elsewhere in the UK for the high value falconry market.

London is also an international trading centre and there is an active illegal trade in endangered species here. Much of this comes in the form of wildlife products such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) made from Tigers, Rhinos, Bears and many other less well known, but equally endangered species. In 1995 the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Charm, the first police initiative against the illegal trade in endangered species, in the UK.

Operation Charm deals with all aspects of the endangered species trade from TCM to the use of Shahtoosh (Tibetan Antelope wool) in the manufacture of high value woollen shawls, the trade in elephant ivory, reptile skins, taxidermy, and other endangered species items. So far, Operation Charm has led to the seizure of over 20,000 items made from endangered species, and the conviction of a number of traders in the courts. However, Operation Charm is not just about law enforcement, and the Wildlife Crime Unit also works with traders and other groups to prevent the illegal trade, as well as taking initiatives to increase public awareness of the endangered species trade in London.

At a more local level, much of our day to day wildlife work involves our resident bird population. In the spring and summer each year we get many reports of damage to, or destruction of bird’s nests. The species involved are often wildfowl, and Swans, particularly, are often subject to attacks by vandals.

The Wildlife Crime Unit is based at New Scotland Yard and is comprised of the Met’s Wildlife Liaison Officer and a small team of police officers who have been appointed to deal with wildlife offences in their local areas. Each of these officers undertake their wildlife work in addition to their other policing duties so our resources are limited.

As its name suggests, the Wildlife Crime Unit deals with crime. We are not a animal welfare organisation and we are not able to deal with reports of injured birds or animals where no crime has been committed. Animal welfare issues are normally referred to the RSPCA, in appropriate cases, specialist agencies such as The Swan Sanctuary, The Fox Project, local Badger Groups etc., but please do contact us if you need to report wildlife offences.

Dates Referenced August 2001
Contact Details Mr Andy Fisher
Wildlife Liaison Officer
Metropolitan Police Services
Wildlife Crime Unit
Room 233
New Scotland Yard
Broadway
London SW1H 0BG
Tel: 020 7230 3641
Fax: 020 7230 4020
Website Address

http://www.met.police.uk

Email

Andy.Fisher@met.police.uk

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