Lincolnshire Police set to do more to combat illegal fishing!

Anglers have often complained that illegal fishing and poaching aren't tackled properly, and now a Police force has taken the unusual step of publicly admitting that it hasn’t been doing enough!

Admitting this is highly unusual, but Lincolnshire Police have gone so far as to say that it has ‘fallen short’ when it comes to combatting illegal fishing on the county’s waterways and are stepping up patrols – which is brilliant news with the Close Season in force at the moment and a lack of anglers on the bank to keep an eye on things themselves.

Working with the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and other partners, Lincolnshire Police launched Operation Traverse in November 2014 as a way of addressing the problem of fish being stolen from local waterways, and it is now urging the general public to help out by calling 101 if they suspect fish are being taken from rivers illegally. Tip-offs from sources such as dog walkers have been invaluable in the past in other areas when it has come to catching the culprits in the act.

Operation Traverse was also designed to ensure that Police officers actually took angling crime and the theft of fish seriously, and dealt with the offences properly. Overall the scheme has been a success and has been rolled out in other parts of the country, but Lincolnshire Police also admits that it should have been doing more.

Chief Inspector Jim Tyner, who heads up rural crime for Lincolnshire Police, commented: “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 and 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.”