I welcome the news that the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) has secured 4 years of funding needed for its work.
The 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.
I have campaigned with World Animal Protection to save the NWCU for many months and it is clear the Government has now listened to the voice of the UK public. A number of people from Flintshire contacted me to express their concerns that the NWCUs future was in doubt.
After worrying signs that the Government was going to abolish the NWCU we have learnt that they have finally listened to the public and provided funding for the next four years.
It is vital that we continue to fund the NWCU as it provides protection to both wildlife and livestock within our region. When I was Police Minister I ensured that the NWCU had the resources it needed to provide the police with a specialised unit that would protect our natural habitat and the livelihoods of livestock farmers.
This has been an uphill battle. The Government has been reluctant to give assurances when asked and it appeared that the decision was on a knife-edge. But through constant campaigning from MPs, charities and individuals the NWCU is safe for another four years.