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Humberside Police joins Operation TRAVERSE in crackdown on poaching and fisheries crime


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Humberside Police joins Operation TRAVERSE. From left: Andy Bettiss (fishery owner and volunteer bailiff), Paul Thomas (Angling Trust Regional Enforcement Manager), PC Julie Turrell (Force Wildlife, Rural Crime & Hunt Liaison Officer for Humberside Police), Paul Caygill (Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer) and PC Nick Willey (Force Wildlife & Rural Crime Officer for Lincolnshire Police and Lead on Operation TRAVERSE)

Humberside Police has joined Operation TRAVERSE, the multi-agency initiative aimed at tackling poaching and fish theft in the East of England.

Operation TRAVERSE launched two years ago after the Angling Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency, achieved support from the National Policing Lead on Rural & Wildlife Crime, Chief Constable Simon Prince, and the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit to help raise awareness of fisheries-related crime and the links with other crime.

On Thursday, March 17, Paul Thomas, Angling Trust Regional Enforcement Manager for the East of England and a former detective with Gloucestershire Police, met with PC Julie Turrell, the Force Wildlife, Rural Crime & Hunt Liaison Officer for Humberside Police, and PC Gareth Walker, a Wildlife Crime Officer in Humberside, to formally welcome Humberside Police to Operation TRAVERSE.

Also present at the meeting held at Yaddlethorpe Ponds in Scunthorpe was PC Nick Willey, the Force Wildlife & Rural Crime Officer for Lincolnshire Police and Lead on Operation TRAVERSE, Paul Caygill, Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer, Peter Mischenko, an Environment Agency Fisheries Technical Officer, and Andy Bettiss, the fishery owner and an Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiff.

Several topics were discussed at the meeting, including the issue of migrant anglers from Eastern Europe sometimes not understanding British angling law and our conservation-based approach to angling, and the Environment Agency and Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service in the area which was launched earlier this month.

Arrangements were made for all partner agencies to work together in tackling the issues identified by arranging joint patrols that will include the volunteer bailiffs, the Environment Agency and police working in unison.

Paul Thomas said: “We very much welcome Humberside Police to Operation TRAVERSE working with all our partners to achieve the required result through raising awareness, education and positive enforcement.

“It is widely recognised that the links between fisheries-related crime and the bigger picture of rural, wildlife, business, hate and organised crime cannot be under-estimated, and the inclusion of Humberside Police on Operation TRAVERSE further raises awareness of this serious issue.

“It remains essential, however, that anglers contribute to this process by reporting incidents and information to the police on 101 or Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60, quoting Operation TRAVERSE.”

Peter Mischenko, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer, said: “We take all fisheries-related crime seriously, and by working collaboratively with Humberside Police and the Angling Trust we can focus our efforts and tackle those with little or no regard to the law.

"Operation TRAVERSE also covers Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and throughout the operation officers from all organisations will be pulling together and pooling intelligence to target and tackle those who break the law.”

Useful links:

Angling Trust's Fisheries Enforcement Campaign

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