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London's 'wildlife crimes'

A report has exposed the shocking scale of so-called 'wildlife crimes' committed in the capital.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals - which part funds the Met Police's Wildlife Crime Unit - says it has crimes reported to them everyday, ranging from the capture of songbirds to the smuggling of endangered species into London.

Martin Stew reports.

Bird numbers significantly down in London

Sparrows are one of the species whose numbers have significantly dropped in the last decade Credit: PA

The number of farmland birds in London has fallen significantly in the past decade, according to the latest RSPB report.

The report looked at over 100 of the UK's most common birds and of these species, about a fifth have declined in the south east by more than a third since 1995, including turtle doves, willowtits and cuckoos. The number of starlings has fallen 40% in London since 1995.

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Porpoises in Lambeth area

Porpoises sighted near Tower Bridge

A pod of porpoises has swum up the River Thames to central London.

The Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit, which is following the group of mammals, tweeted that they "seem happy enough".

Initially the river patrol team, which tweets as @MPSonthewater, reported a sighting of a dolphin at Tower Bridge.

But further updates revealed the creatures to be harbour porpoises, which usually stick to coastal areas and river estuaries, but are known to venture further upstream.

(Image shows a porpoise in the River Bann in Northern Ireland)

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