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Angling Trust Update: Operation CLAMP DOWN 2

06.06.14

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Thames Valley Police Wildlife Crime Officer Ian Whitlock, right, looks on as Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer Mick Cox reports an angler for fishing without a rod licence on the Thames. These joint patrols emphasise that the police and Agency are sharing intelligence and increasingly mounting joint patrols on our waterways.

Throughout the close season, the Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS), Environment Agency (EA) and various police forces throughout South East England have worked in partnership targeting illegal fishing on rivers.

The Angling Trust's Fisheries Enforcement Manager, retired police officer Dilip Sarkar, said: "People who fish illegally are poachers. The police understand that poachers are often involved in wider criminality, including theft and drugs - and that several million anglers represent a valuable source of rural intelligence. This is why it is so important that all stakeholders work together, sharing intelligence and mounting joint operations accordingly. The VBS exists to principally support the EA in the fight to protect fish and fisheries, and we are delighted to have the police's support in this endeavour. Likewise, if we can help the police in the fight against Rural and Wildlife Crime - we will".

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Thames Valley Police Officers, Environment Agency staff and West Thames Volunteer Bailiffs on a recent joint patrol supporting Operation CLAMP DOWN 2.

Detective Inspector Nevin Hunter, Head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: "We entirely support the VBS and what the Angling Trust and EA are trying to achieve here. That so many police forces are getting actively involved is good news, and helps drive forward our Project TRESPASS initiative"

Adrian Brightley, the EA's VBS Project Manager, said "It is great to see everyone working together like this - which sends out a powerful message to offenders. We are all very keen for this to continue."

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Fisheries Enforcement Officer Joe Kitansono and Volunteer Bailiff Rob Anderson on patrol with Kent Police officers near Canterbury last weekend.

During Operation CLAMP DOWN 2, which concludes on 15 June 2014, the VBS has reported eighteen incidents of illegal angling to the EA - and currently awaits feedback on what action has been taken in respect of those reports.

Media Contact:
More info and high resolution images available from Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar - dilip.sarkar@anglingtrust.net

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