WSPA co-hosts ground-breaking seminar on wildlife crime
Wildlife crime put firmly on London’s agenda with first ever city-wide seminar on the subject.
This article was written when we were called the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). Find out about our name change.
From urban foxes to endangered eels and the illegal traffic in protected species, London is an unlikely location for a wide variety of wildlife crime. Now, for the first time in the capital’s history, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has joined forces with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to deliver London’s first multi-agency enforcement seminar aimed at tackling wildlife crime in the capital.
The ground-breaking event brought together the various Metropolitan Police Units, public sector agencies, charities, INGOs and independent experts who have an interest or remit relating to wildlife crime, for the first time in the capital’s history.
WSPA have been working closely with and part-funding the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) since 2012, when there were fears for the Unit’s future.
The WCU receives daily reports ranging from destruction of protected habitats to deliberate cruelty to animals and has seized over 30,000 endangered species items since 1995.
The seminar, facilitated by BBC Radio 5 Live's Chief Political Correspondent John Pienaar, gave agencies an opportunity to consider future plans for tackling London’s wildlife crime.
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime said: “Wildlife crime is a shared challenge and one that can only be tackled by working in partnership. From deliberate injury of local wildlife to illegal trading associated with serious and organised crime, the Met police Wildlife Crime Unit has been working closely and effectively with organisations including WSPA to tackle these crimes. There is a lot to be proud of but we know that more can be done. The outcome of this landmark seminar will help forge new partnerships and collaborative responses to tackling these crimes across the capital”.
WSPA and MOPAC will gather feedback from the diverse range of attendees and use them to create a series of recommendations for how London will better enforce wildlife crime.