New Crimestoppers partnership to fight fish related crime
Cefas' Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) has teamed up with a number of its most influential partners to sponsor a new initiative, with the crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers, that will target fish related crime.
Crimestoppers operates a telephone number (0800 555 111) and website at www.defra.gov.uk/aahm/guidance/angling-under-threat/ to enable people to pass on information about crime anonymously. By providing complete anonymity it is hoped that the angling community will be encouraged to take more responsibility for their sport/business and report illegal activity.
The partnership includes many influential industry organisations, including the FHI, the Angling Trust, ECHO, Cemex and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA).
In recent months there has been increasing intelligence to suggest that organised criminal groups now view the illegal importation of live fish (and in particular carp) as a very lucrative business opportunity with relatively low associated risks. The profit margins are often substantial, with an illegally imported 50lb carp likely to be priced in the region of £20,000. Stuart Katon, the FHI's Enforcement and Investigations Officer, said: "We must step up our intelligence-led approach towards preventing illegal activity, working closely with other agencies to target organised groups. However in order to be successful we also need the support of the wider angling community."
He continued: "Tell us what you know, use the security and anonymity of Crimestoppers and let us do the rest. We are determined to increase the pace in the fight against illegal importation and movement of fish along with other fish related crime. So greedy fishery owners and others involved, beware!"
Dave Cording, Crimestoppers' Director of Operations said: "I can assure the angling community that anyone who provides Crimestoppers with information about crime will remain anonymous. Calls and online forms are not traced or recorded and no personal details will be taken. So if you have any information about illegal activity relating to the importation of fish and the theft of angling equipment, pass it on to Crimestoppers to help improve your community."
More information about the importation of live fish may be found by visiting www.efishbusiness.co.uk/imports/default.asp. Or contact the Fish Health Inspectorate directly on 01305 206700 / email@example.com
What happens when you phone 0800 555 111?
- The caller will not be asked their name
- There is no 1471 facility
- Calls are not recorded or traced
- The caller will speak with trained call handlers
- No personal details of the caller will be taken
- The caller will only be asked questions relating to the information they wish to be passed on
- Callers will not have to visit a police station, be asked to make a statement or appear in court
You can fill in an anonymous online Giving Information Form to give information online. Crimestoppers has provided some questions to help you tell them everything you know. The information will be sent over a secure internet connection which makes sure you, and your computer, are anonymous.
What about rewards?
Crimestoppers has also established a procedure that facilitates the payment of a reward whilst at the same time allowing the caller to remain anonymous. If your motivation is financial remuneration then when you call you will be given a code. If you are interested in collecting a reward, you will be asked to contact Crimestoppers again at a later date with your code, to establish if the information you have given has led to somebody being prosecuted.