freeline-25 - Page 9



CARP CHAT
Chesterfield man nets £431 penalty for fishing
without a licence
A 22-year-old man from Chesterfield
has been successfully prosecuted by
the Environment Agency after being
found guilty of fishing without a
licence.
The case was brought to
Northampton Magistrates Court on 5
August 2019 where Bradley Topham
from North Crescent, Duckmanton
pleaded guilty and was ordered to
pay a total penalty of £431. An annual
fishing licence would have cost him
just £30.
Fishing without a licence costs
Retford man over £600
A 44-year-old man from Retford, Nottinghamshire, has been fined £621 for
fishing without a licence at the Glebe,
Peckleton, Leicestershire on 21 April
2019. The case was brought to
Northampton Magistrates’ Court by
the Environment Agency on 5 August
2019. Kevin Benson of Lime Tree
Avenue, Retford, pleaded guilty and
was ordered to pay a total penalty of
£621. An annual fishing licence would
have cost him just £30.
Fines are up to £2,500. The penalty
includes a fine of £442 for fishing
without a licence, contrary to the
Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act
(1975), costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £44.
Following the verdict, Mick Alcott,
Fisheries Enforcement Officer for the
Environment Agency, said: “This case
shows how seriously the courts take
these offences, and we hope the high
penalty will act as a deterrent to any
angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence.”
Fishing illegally can incur a fine of
up to £2,500, and offenders can also
have their fishing equipment seized
and be banned from fishing. We
inspect rod licences throughout the
East Midlands and work 24/7, seven
days a week to check on cases of illegal fishing. We have the same powers
and responsibilities as a police constable to uphold the legislation and
can arrest and detain offenders, enter
land, stop and search, seize boats,
vessels, vehicles and equipment, and
ask people to show their fishing
licences. Money raised from fishing
licence sales is used to protect and
improve fish stocks and fisheries,
benefitting anglers. We will always
prosecute those caught cheating the
system.
Buy fishing licences online.
Anglers who wish to buy their licence
online should buy it directly
from GOV.UK as they will receive a
reference number allowing them to
go fishing on the same day. Customers who use third-party sites may
be charged more and might not get
added to the official database as
quickly. Any angler aged 13 or over,
fishing on a river, canal or still water
needs a licence. A one-day licence
costs from just £6 and an annual
licence costs from just £30 (concessions available). Junior licences are
free for 13- to 16-year-olds. Licences
are available from GOV.UK or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344
800 5386 between 8am and 6pm,
Monday to Friday. Alternatively,
licences can be bought at a local Post
Office.
Report illegal fishing.
The Environment Agency carries out
enforcement work all year round and
is supported by partners including
the police and the Angling Trust.
Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hotspots
and where illegal fishing is reported.
Anyone with information about illegal
fishing activities can contact the
Environment Agency Incident Hotline
24/7 on 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously
to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. n
The penalty includes a fine of £266
plus costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £30 after Mr Topham was
found in breach of the Salmon and
Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) on 12
May at Harlesthorpe Dam, Clowne.
Fo l l o w i n g t h e v e r d i c t , J a m e s
Anderson, Fisheries Enforcement
Officer for the Environment Agency,
said: “The case shows how seriously
the courts take these offences and
acts as a reminder to anglers of the
importance of having a fishing
licence. We hope it will provide a
deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence.”
We w o u l d a l s o l i k e t o r e m i n d
anglers who wish to buy their licence
online of the importance of buying
their fishing licence directly
from GOV.UK as they will receive a
reference number allowing them to
go fishing on the same day. Customers who use third party sites may
be charged more and might not get
added to the official database as
quickly.
Every year across the country,
thousands of anglers are prosecuted
for not having a fishing licence. As
well as cheating other anglers, fishing
illegally can carry a hefty penalty.
Getting caught without a licence
could land a fine of up to £2,500.
Income from fishing licence sales is
used to fund Environment Agency
work to protect and improve fish
stocks and fisheries, including
improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers, tackling illegal fishing
and working with partners to encourage people to give fishing a go. Any
angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a
river, canal or still water needs a
licence. A 1-day licence costs from
just £6 and an annual licence costs
from just £30 (concessions available).
They are free for those aged 13 to 16.
Licences are available online or by
calling the Environment Agency on
0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm,
Monday to Friday.
The Environment Agency carries
out enforcement work all year round
and is supported by partners including the police and the Angling Trust.
Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hotspots
and where illegal fishing is reported.
Anyone with information about
illegal fishing activities can contact
the Environment Agency Incident
Hotline 24/7 on 0800 80 70 60 or
Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800
555 111. n
FREE LINE 9

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