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CARP CHAT
Surrey Police joins Operation TRAVERSE targeting
illegal fishing and fish theft
Surrey Police has become the latest
force to sign up to Operation TRAVERSE – the multi-agency initiative
launched four years ago to tackle fish
theft and illegal fishing. The commitment creates an important link with
surrounding forces and provides a
wider rollout of the operation in the
east and southeast of England. Operation TRAVERSE was launched in
November 2014 to provide police
forces, the National Wildlife Crime
Unit, Environment Agency Fisheries
Enforcement, the Angling Trust and
other partners with a platform to work
better together and share information
to tackle fisheries crime and illegal
fishing.
Dilip Sarkar MBE, Angling Trust
National Enforcement Manager, said:
“This is yet another step forward and
indicates an undertaking from the
police service to address anglers’
issues and the wider criminality
involved in spite of its huge array of
other commitments and priorities. We
look forward very much to working
closely with Surrey Police and our
existing and future partners.”
Assistant Chief Constable Nev
Kemp, of Surrey Police, said: “The
work we are doing with Operation
TRAVERSE plays an important role in
positively contributing to the fight
against fisheries crime in Surrey. This
multi-agency partnership is an excellent approach to tackling the concerns of the angling community, and
we are excited to commit to this joint
initiative. We will be working closely
with the Angling Trust Fisheries
Enforcement Support Service and Voluntary Bailiffs and supporting Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers on planned days of
action across the region. It is important we emphasise the key role all
anglers can play by reporting incidents and information, helping us to
create a more detailed intelligence
picture. Working with anglers and
other members of our rural communities helps us pursue criminals, protect
the vulnerable and prevent crime.
Through the intelligence we gather,
we can help make Surrey the safest
county it can be.”
Dave Webb, fisheries team leader
with the Environment Agency, said:
“The Environment Agency is pleased
to be working with Surrey Police and
the Angling Trust to ensure that
together we combat illegal fishing in
Surrey and prevent unlawful activities
on our waterways. People who don’t
buy a licence are not only cheating
other anglers and the future of the
sport but run the risk of a criminal
conviction and a fine. There is no
excuse – a fishing licence costs just
£30 for a whole year and you can buy
it online at GOV.UK. We track criminals on an intelligence led basis using
information gathered by us, the police
and other partners and reports from
the public. We urge anyone to report
illegal fishing as quickly as possible
by calling our incident hotline on 0800
80 70 60.”
David Wardley-Wilkins, the Angling
Trust’s Regional Enforcement Manager (southeast), said: “Tackling fish
theft and illegal fishing is vital if we
are to protect fisheries, and having
Surrey Police join Operation TRAVERSE is terrific news for all responsible, law abiding anglers.”
Anyone suspecting suspicious
behaviour at a fishery should call the
Environment Agency hotline on 0800
80 70 60 or the Police on 101. n
Royal boost for our campaigns to improve rivers
The Angling Trust has been taking its campaigns for restoring fish stocks right to the top over the past month with a
series of high profile events involving numerous MPs, the
Environment Minister, the Secretary of State for the Environment and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The
Trust had an opportunity to remind Prince Charles, a fellow
14 FREE LINE
angler, of the importance of engaging anglers in campaigns
to improve our rivers when he spoke at a catchment management summit in Moreton-in-Marsh recently. We also
presented a copy of our highly acclaimed Saving the Earth
report to Secretary of State Michael Gove when he visited
an exemplary farm in Herefordshire. n

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