freeline-20 - Page 4



CARP
CHAT
Carpy News
The river’s high! Bailiffs discover bags
of cannabis dumped in the River Nene
When volunteer bailiff Roy Bridson
was alerted by a Whittlesey Angling
Club partner to black bin bags
dumped in the River Nene in Cambridgeshire, he suspected something
fishy was going on. He and his fellow
bailiff managed to haul one of the
bags to the riverbank – and found it
filled with cannabis plants.
Roy, a member of the Angling
Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service,
alerted the police, and together they
recovered 30 rubbish and carrier bags
from the river near Whittlesey, mostly
containing cannabis plants, roots,
cuttings and buds ready to be sold.
Meanwhile, whilst out on patrol
recently in Essex, VBS Area Coordinator Iain Fraser found a dumped safe –
minus its contents, which had been
removed – that had been forcibly
opened using oxyacetylene.
Both incidents are further examples
of how criminals are using rural environments to further their crimes and
proof, if needed, that the VBS is benefitting the whole of society and not
just the angling community.
P a u l T h o m a s , A n g l i n g Tr u s t ’s
Regional Enforcement Manager for
the East of England, said: “Our volunteer bailiffs are the eyes and ears at
the waterside and are trained to
report suspicious activity to the
4 FREE LINE
police and Environment Agency to a
high evidential standard. These
recent finds prove how worthwhile
their roles have become – they are a
credit to angling and society in gen-
eral.”
The Voluntary Bailiff Service is part
of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries
Enforcement Support Service, run in
partnership with the Environment
Agency and funded by fishing licence
income.
Volunteer bailiffs are always on the
lookout for signs of illegal fishing,
poaching, set lines and nets, but every
so often they come across more sinister activity. A few years ago, bailiffs
on patrol near Reading found a cache
of deadly firearms, including a Magnum handgun and an Uzi submachine gun.
On another occasion, an angler
spotted a group of poachers and
reported the registration number of a
suspicious vehicle to the Angling
Trust enforcement team. The information was immediately passed on to
the police, and the vehicle was traced
to a wanted killer on the run from
mainland Europe who was tracked
down and arrested.
Anyone witnessing an illegal fishing incident in progress can report it
directly to the Environment Agency
hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Information
on illegal fishing and environmental
crime can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555
111. n

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