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Bedfordshire Police join Operation
TRAVERSE – multi-agency initiative
targeting illegal fishing and fish theft
Bedfordshire Police has become the
latest force to sign up to Operation
TRAVERSE – the multi-agency initiative launched three years ago to
tackle fish theft and illegal fishing.
The commitment creates an important link with surrounding forces and
provides a wider roll-out of the operation in the east and south east of England.
Bedfordshire Police’s promise of
firm support for Operation TRAVERSE
will see a big step forward in the fight
against fish poaching in the county,
which has led to low stocks of some
fish species at some venues.
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 Bedfordshire Police and
our existing and future partners. The
only way forward is for everyone to
work together.”
Bedfordshire Police formally joined
Operation TRAVERSE following an
induction day at Leighton Buzzard
Police station attended by members
of Bedfordshire Constabulary Wildlife
and Rural Crime Team, Paul Thomas
(Angling Trust Regional Enforcement
Manager for the East of England),
Radoslaw Papiewski (Building
Representatives from Bedfordshire Constabulary Wildlife and Rural Crime
Team, the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency and Building Bridges at the
launch of Operation TRAVERSE in Bedforshire.
Bridges Project Manager with the
Angling Trust) and Al Thomson (Environment Agency Fishery Enforcement Officer).
To p i c s i n c l u d e d i s s u e s w i t h
migrant anglers not understanding
UK fisheries law, migrant angler education, methods of illegal fishing, how
to spot incidents and how to effectively deliver the operation through
joint patrols with other member
organisations and the Voluntary Bailiff
Ian Hirst, Environment Agency
Enforcement Team Leader, said: “We
are pleased to welcome Bedfordshire
Police as a partner to Operation TRAVERSE. This will build on existing
work we carry out with the force
across the Bedfordshire countryside
Angling Trust’s Paul Thomas outlines the initiative.
to tackle illegal fishing. Anyone that
suspects illegal fishing is taking place
should report the details to the Environment Agency’s Incident Hotline
on 0800 80 70 60, or Bedfordshire
Police on 101 quoting Operation TRAVERSE.”
Inspector Mark Farrant of Bedfordshire Police Wildlife and Rural Crime
team, said: “Bedfordshire Constabulary will work closely with the
Angling Trust volunteer bailiffs and
Environment Agency Fisheries
Enforcement Officers on planned
days of action across the region to
identify and deal with any offences
revealed in a robust and consistent
manner. I encourage true anglers to
continue to provide intelligence on
illegal activity, as this information will
lead the operation – they are often our
eyes and ears by the water’s edge and
vital to the success of this initiative.”
Paul Thomas, Angling Trust’s East
of England Regional Enforcement
Manager, said: “We are extremely
happy to welcome Bedfordshire
Police to play a key role in Operation
TRAVERSE working with all our partners to raise 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
underestimated, and the inclusion of
Bedfordshire Police on Operation
TRAVERSE can only further raise
awareness of this serious issue and
emphasise the partnership approach
now being taken.” n


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