Havering wildlife crime officer receives met-wide award for work
18:00 12 April 2014
He has seized 24 tortoises, four hobby hawks and 20 taxidermy specimen, as well as tackling deer and fish poachers in the borough. Now, Havering’s Wildlife Crime Officer has won a met-wide award for his work.
What is the role of a Wildlife Crime Officer?
-They work in the Wildlife Crime Unit, which is responsible for enforcement of wildlife laws within London, and for taking initiatives to prevent wildlife crime.
-The Unit also provides specialist support and assistance to police officers all over London, and works in partnership with many other agencies, both government and non-government, in the UK and internationally, as well as providing a focal point for enquiries from the public.
-The Unit is part of the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate, and is made up of a small team of specialist police and civilian staff who have been appointed for their expertise and experience in wildlife matters.
Anthony Kiddle, who has been in the role since 2009, was awarded Borough Wildlife Crime Officer of the year at a training day held at London Zoo in March.
It is the second time he has picked up the award, after his efforts were acknowledged in 2012, and he again saw off compeititon from the other 31 London boroughs.
“I was quite chuffed to be honest,” said PC Kiddle, “I think I’m the only officer in the met to win it twice, I suppose it’s because I like to stick my neck in and sniff stuff out.
“Becoming a wildlife crime officer seemed like a natural progression to me, I’ve always had an interest in animals, and it was an opporunity to do a different style of police work. It’s not your run of the mill role.”
Pc Kiddle also mentors other officers on how to deal with cases involving wildlife and speaks to local groups about his role.
But he’s not planning on doing it full time.
“It’s not my forte really, I prefer to be on the front line,” he confessed.
Anthony’s “outstanding achievements” include producing 25 arrests and court summons’, three search warrants and a case of international agency partnership work in the United States, where he worked with the fishery service in a case regarding the sale of a protected species on eBay.
DC Sarah Bailey of the met’s central Wildlife Crime Unit, who awarded Antony, said: “Tony is one of the hardest working borough wildlife crime officers out there. He’s received this award for his hard work and sheer determination to tackle local wildlife crime.”
Anthony has been a police officer since 2000 and begins his days as a Havering response officer. But when a case comes in regarding wildlife crime, he is the go-to man.
Through his role, he has to deal with rare species like peregrine falcons, black redstarts, dormice and stag beetles in the area, though much of his work concerns wildlife native to other areas in Britain, or other countries, with crimes committed by local people - such as the sale of ivory on ebay.
As well as seizing tortoises, hobby hawks and taxidermy, he has also taken 12 cats, one dog, two dead peregrine falcons, one dead barn owl and 11 peregrine barbey cross falcons into care.
Alyx Elliott, Campaigns Manager at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) said: “The WSPA is proud to sponsor this award which celebrates the hard work done by police officers dedicated to tackling wildlife crime in every London Borough. PC Kiddle has had great success in bringing wildlife criminals to justice in Havering over the past twelve months and is thoroughly deserving of this year’s accolade.”