On Tuesday, 25 March 2014 at a Borough Wildlife Officer Training Day held at the Zoological Society of London’s headquarters at London Zoo, Police Constable Anthony Kiddle received this award for the second time, having previously been awarded it in 2012. This annual event is contested between the Met’s 32 borough Wildlife Crime officers and is sponsored by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). The central Met Wildlife Crime Unit looks at the hard work of all the teams and decides who has made an outstanding contribution in the past year. The idea behind the award is to reward officers not only for the number of their prosecutions but for their contribution to wildlife crime prevention.
PC Kiddle has been a police officer since 2000 and has always had an interest in wildlife which led him to take a natural progression into becoming a wildlife officer. He took over the role as Havering’s Wildlife Crime officer in 2009 and has since developed the role in the Borough of Havering, with an aim of enhancing the quality of life for Havering Residents who enjoy the green and open spaces. This role is in conjunction with his regular role as a Havering response officer. It is easy to think of wildlife crime as being something that happens in the countryside, and many people do not associate it with London. However, the London area is home to a wide range of wild species, including many which are protected in law. Rare species like Peregrine Falcons, Black Redstarts, Dormice and Stag Beetles are resident here and share the capital with the more often seen foxes and the cockney sparrows, some of which do become victims of wildlife crime. However, much of PC Kiddle’s work and investigations concerns wildlife which are native to other areas in Britain, or in other countries. Such crimes are often being committed by people in Havering as well as throughout the whole of London.
Alyx Elliott, Campaigns Manager at the WSPA said “we are 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.” DC Sarah Bailey of the Met’s central Wildlife Crime Unit, who presented the award said: "Tony is one of the hardest working borough wildlife crime officers out there. He puts in lots of hours alongside his usual work as a response officer. He has received this award for his hard work and sheer determination to tackle local wildlife crime."
Edited version of an article in the Metropolitan Police's newsletter "The Beat" April 2014.
- Follow up some of PC Kiddle's work below