I attended an event in the Houses of Parliament this week to support World Animal protection in their campaign to save one of the world’s leading police departments – the National Wildlife Crime Unit.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) is dedicated to supporting wildlife crime investigations and is fundamental to providing and analysing national wildlife crime intelligence across the UK. Without them, a huge number of wildlife crime cases would not be successfully investigated or prosecuted.
The NWCU has had a huge impact in North Wales. It’s most recent work has seen it tackling poaching in our region. In 2014 a spate of deer and sheep rustling saw the NWCU start its anti-poaching operations, which successfully stopped an attempt to rustle livestock in our region.
The NWCU is a vital service provided by our police, and it would be a great loss to Flintshire and North Wales if it were to be abolished. When I was Policing Minister I ensured that the NWCU had the resources it needed to protect wildlife and livestock.
If the Government follow through its Spending Review the future of the unit is under threat. Ministers have confirmed a decision, either way, will be made by the end of January, meaning in only a matter of weeks their work could face complete collapse.
Many Ministers repeatedly use the work of the Unit to demonstrate the Government’s successful commitment to tackling wildlife crime, yet they won’t confirm that the NWCU will be saved with money from their £13 million budget.