Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wildlife Crime Unit Saved

a rhinocerosBack in April I posted a report that the Metropolitan Police were proposing to cut their budget for the Wildlife Crime Prevention Unit by a half, saving £80,000 per year out of a total budget of £2.5billion.

On Saturday I picked up a copy of “London Green News”, everybody it seems is into publishing these days but this one is NOT paid for by the taxpayer, it is the “Newspaper of the London Green Party”. It reports under the heading above:

Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has changed his spots in regard to the proposed cuts in the Wildlife Crime Unit, after pressure from Assembly Member Jenny Jones. Responding to the news her colleague Darren Johnson said, “I am very pleased with this U-turn. With growing alarm over the rapid decline in species such as Rhino and Tigers, we should be expanding this area of Police work not cutting it back. Trade in endangered species is the second most profitable source of income for organised crime.” The UK is a major transit point for endangered species products, and with both Gatwick and Heathrow airports, London is the illegal trade’s biggest European hub.

I have googled this and I can’t find any reference to it on any “news” channels. Probably all too busy checking their in trays for any stray computer discs.


  1. Well, there's certainly been a big decline in rhinos and tigers here in Redbridge since the '60s.

    In fact, as Dearly Beloved pointed out many, many years ago, there are no more heffalumps around here because of the heffalump traps scattered around Clayhall - half-moons apparently randomly cut out of pavements, but serving this secret purpose.

  2. As I recall it, the former H.M. Customs & Excise were deeply involved in the investigation of wild life crimes but since Customs & Excise is effectively being down-sized to the point of non-existence as a result of decisions taken by the current P.M. I can only assume that they no longer have teams dedicated to this area of enforcement. Time to turn back the clocks Prime Minister.

  3. "Trade in endangered species is the second most profitable source of income for organised crime"

    That is totally factually incorrect.

    The most profitable source of income for organised crime is drug smuggling and dealing. The next most extortion. Next is people smuggling and the associated protitution and next is illegal arms dealing.

    Why can't the Greens stop making things up and actually get their basic facts right.

  4. Anonymous,
    I suspect that what you refer to here is volume rather than profitability, the latter being a measure of Return on Investment, ie a percentage rather than an absolute figure.

    Perhaps you would like to check your "basic facts" and comment further?

  5. Thanks for this good news. I haven't spotted it anywhere but on Barkingside 21. So good for you on keeping us informed, whatever the statistics involved. London is apparantly the world's top clearing house for the illegal trade in products from endangered species, which involves everything from tiger-skin coats to bear bile for traditional Chinese medicines. So the work of the Met. Wildlife Unit must continue.

    I posted the original news on my blog, so I'll post an update too.