Operation TRAVERSE - targeting illegal fishing and fish theft in Fenland
A briefing at Boston Police Station, involving police, Angling Trust, Environment Agency and Polish PSR staff, before the first day of joint patrols across Fenland
We are now communicating with other law enforcement agencies in other European countries with a view to duplicating this sharing of intelligence and best practice on an even wider basis
PC Nick Willey of Lincolnshire Police, Kommandant Macieo Bialy of the Polish PSR, and Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer Michael Wildash, on patrol during the first day of Operation TRAVERSE
One problem in this part of England - historically famous for predator fishing in winter - is the issue of migrant anglers from Eastern Europe sometimes not understanding British angling law and our conservation-based approach to angling. Here, National Byelaws limit the size and numbers of fish that can be retained, and removing fish from enclosed waters without the owner's consent is theft.
Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager, Dilip Sarkar MBE, said: "This is a really important operation aimed at raising awareness of this serious issue and emphasising the partnership approach now being taken. It is essential that anglers contribute to this process by reporting incidents and information to the police on 101 or EA on 0800 80 70 60, quoting Operation TRAVERSE. The Fenland 'River Watch' initiative has a key role to play in this process and we commend those involved for their ongoing efforts and support".
Sergeant Dave Robinson of Lincolnshire Police said: "Poaching fits within the much bigger picture of Rural & Wildlife Crime, which we are keen to address, not least because of the wider criminality frequently involved and the negative impact upon livelihoods. We very much welcome therefore, the opportunity to play a key role in TRAVERSE and work with all our partners to achieve the required result through raising awareness, education and positive enforcement".