Rural team specials target illegal poaching
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Special officers from the Rural Task Force have worked with the Angling Trust to target illegal poaching from the county's lakes and rivers.
The action formed part of Kent Police's contribution to National Volunteer Week and ran between Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June 2020.
Operation Traverse is a partnership effort between police forces and the Angling Trust to actively target those who fish illegally and the crimes that are often associated with the offence.
Over the weekend the team checked a number of anglers to ensure they were fishing legally. Several fishing offences were evident and action was taken against those without a licence.
The team visited a number of sites including the River Teise, Goudhurst, Lullington Country Park, Mote Park, Medway Valley Fisheries and Singleton Lake, Ashford. In addition to speaking with anglers the officers liaised with the land owners to discuss crime prevention advice.
Sergeant Darren Walshaw of Kent Police’s Rural Task Force said: ‘We are fortunate to benefit from the addition of Special Constables to the Rural Task Force who provide additional support to further develop our rural policing capabilities and can effectively implement initiatives such as Operation Traverse.
‘Poaching fresh water fish is a worrying crime for rural communities. Businesses can be devastated by the effects within a relatively short space of time.
‘Fishing clubs are concerned about the destruction of fish stock and the wider range of criminality that offenders are often linked to. We often get reports of drug and alcohol abuse around the lakes which can present a serious danger given the close proximity of very deep waters.
‘The action formed part of our ongoing commitment to tackle the issue of poaching and support our local fisheries. We will be running similar enforcement days throughout the coming months.’