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Police in Lincolnshire step up patrols in crackdown on illegal fishing and fish theft


Operation TRAVERSE 1 Lincolnshire Police Asst Chf Constable Peter Davies with Dilip Sarkar at launch
Peter Davies, Assistant Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police, with
Dilip Sarkar, Angling Trust's National Enforcement Manager, at the
launch of Operation Traverse in November 2014

Police in Lincolnshire are to carry out more patrols to combat illegal fishing after admitting that the service they provided had “fallen short” in the past.

In partnership with the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and others, Lincolnshire Police launched Operation Traverse in November 2014 as a response to the concerns of the angling community about fish being stolen from local waterways.

As well as proactive patrols by specialist officers, part of the operation was aimed at raising awareness within the police service that fishing without permission and the theft of fish are criminal matters that the police should deal with.

Dilip Sarkar MBE, the Angling Trust’s National Enforcement Manager, said: “With the weather improving illegal fishing is likely to increase. We are disappointed that there have been problems with anglers still not receiving an appropriate service from Lincolnshire Police, in spite of Operation Traverse, but the will is there and we have achieved a written commitment from the force's lead on rural crime to improving the service.

“The police's commitments are enormous, with many priorities, and we are grateful for this continued support and reassurance. Any angler dissatisfied with the response in future should contact his or her relevant Angling Trust Regional Enforcement Manager, so that the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service can redress the situation with the force concerned and UK National Wildlife Crime Unit.”

Chief Insp Jim Tyner, Lincolnshire’s force lead for rural crime, said: “Fishing offences are not the sort of thing that officers encounter every day, so education of officers is vitally important.

“This is a long process. Unfortunately there have been occasions when the service provided has fallen short. I accept and am addressing this.

“Moving forward I would take this opportunity to reassure the angling community that Lincolnshire Police remains committed to Operation Traverse and will continue to work with our partners on this important initiative.

“There will be increased patrols of Lincolnshire’s waterways and if you suspect illegal fishing, this should be reported via 101.”

Operation Traverse has been acknowledged as good practice by many police forces in the East of England and has been rolled out in other counties.

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