Rural crime – Police focus on illegal fishing

From Devon & Cornwall Police:

This week Devon and Cornwall rural affairs officers have been working with Angling Trust voluntary bailiffs on the River Tavy as part of the ongoing national initiative Operation Leviathan, a multi-agency approach to fisheries crime in particular illegal fishing, fish theft and rod-licence compliance.

Read more about Operation Leviathan.

Wildlife Crime Officer Police Constable Martin Beck said: “We work with the Angling Trust and Environment Agency to share intelligence and to provide some effective joint patrols where they are necessary. Some of the work is about education and at other times about integration when involving fishermen from other countries who may not be aware of rules and laws on fishing in the UK which may be different from what they have been used to.

“The Angling Trust has a programme of integration called Building Bridges which has been successful in other parts of the country at addressing these culture clashes.”

Anyone witnessing illegal fishing incidents in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline, 0800 80 70 60. Information on illegal fishing and environmental crime can also be reported anonymously to Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you know that anyone is fishing illegally on waters which are owned privately or by a local authority, then contact the police by emailing if it is not an emergency but if a crime is taking place please phone for immediate assistance.

If you would like further information about the Voluntary Bailiff Service in your area or the Building Bridges Project please contact Nevin Hunter, South West Regional Enforcement Manager for the Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, email

Pictured: Devon Rural Affairs Officer PC Martin Beck with Voluntary Bailiff Paddy Gibson

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