POLICE in Dewsbury have teamed up with officials from other agencies in an attempt to tackle fish theft and poaching.
There have been a number of thefts from angling clubs in Dewsbury, as well as reports from the Environment Agency concerning the theft of fish and stock from rivers and canals.
In some cases, there has been tens of thousands of pounds’-worth of damage and loss of stock.
An investigation is being carried out by the Environment Agency, West Yorkshire Police and the Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service. Officers in Kirklees will be challenging anyone seen on the waterways to produce their licence or give their details to an officer so checks can be made.
PC Rachel Storey, of Dewsbury NPT, said: “We would like to encourage members of the public to report incidents of poaching and theft of fish in the district’s waterways to the police.”
Giles Evans, from the Angling Trust, said: “The recently-published NPCC rural and wildlife crime strategies clearly identify that poaching and fish theft is linked to not only these crimes but also to business, organised and hate crime.
“Members of our Voluntary Bailiff Service, which is active in the area, are trained to report and record matters and I would urge anyone who may have any information on illegal fishing or fish theft to report these matters to the EA on 0800 807060 and/or police on 101. If a crime is in progress, please ring 999.”
Peter Mischenko, from the Environment Agency, said: “We take all reports of illegal fishing seriously. Any person found fishing illegally will be reported and dealt with by our legal team with a view to taking further action against them.”