Police say that a lack of funds has meant the unit has struggled to operate effectively, and that the extra money will pay for a PC and a staff position.

WSPA UK director Suzi Morris described London as a major hub for global wildlife crime.

She said: ?Given the current climate of austerity, we felt compelled to secure and strengthen wildlife crime policing in London, fearing for the future of the WCU as its uniquely trained officers near retirement.?