L-R: Special Constable Haddon Smith, Lee Watts (Environment Agency Officer), PCC Paddy Tipping, Kevin Pearson (Angling Trust), PC Nick Willey (Lincolnshire Police Rural Wildlife Crime Officer
When Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping went fishing recently it wasn’t so much about landing a fish as tightening the net on illegal poaching and related criminality.
Committed to reducing rural crime of all kinds, his trip to a fishing pond in South Muskham, near Newark, was all about discussing with local anglers what they can do to help the police protect fish and fisheries.
The Commissioner was keen to raise awareness of the value and importance of anglers passing information about criminal activity – including wildlife crime – to the police, agencies and partnerships such as the cross-border Operation Traverse.
“Nottinghamshire Police already works closely with Lincolnshire Police and Operation Traverse – teamwork which is greatly assisted by up-to-date intelligence from the angling fraternities,” he said.
“Anglers and members of the local communities who know the rivers and fishing spots well are ideally placed to keep us in the picture. By reporting incidents to the police they become a vital cog in the wheel that tackles offenders and prevents crime.”
Operation Traverse is a multi-partnership operation that includes a growing number of police forces, the Angling Trust and Environment Agency. It helps to raise awareness of fish theft, wider related criminality and organised crime as well as encouraging a coordinated response to poaching.
The Angling Trust’s Midlands Regional Enforcement Manager Kevin Pearson said: “We're really pleased to be working in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police and the Environment Agency to tackle poaching, rod licence evasion and angling-related crime. Having the support of Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is a significant move forward as it demonstrates to the angling rural communities that their concerns are being taken seriously.”
Nottinghamshire Police has its own angler liaison officer: Special Constable Haddon Smith, who joined Commissioner Tipping at South Muskham. Acting as point of contact with anglers and water bailiffs in the Sherwood area, he also goes on patrol with them.
Anglers and the public wanting to report incidents and information can dial 101 for the police or 0800 80 70 60 for the Environment Agency, quoting TRAVERSE in their calls.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 29th December 2015