Wednesday, 20 August 2014 14:41

Police ‘Top Brass’ Get Tough On Fish Crime

A major step forward in reporting poaching and fish theft to the police has been achieved after the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) agreed to back the Angling Trust’s police poaching guide.

Retired police officer and Angling Trust Fisheries enforcement manager, Dilip Sarkar, has been working to address this issue with the National Wildlife Crime Unit and individual forces, and in response to the evidence presented by him to the National Lead of Rural & Wildlife Crime, Mr Simon Prince, chief constable of Dyfed Powys, a briefing note has been created and distributed to all chief officers in England and Wales, to be cascaded down to call-taking staff and operational police officers.
"As fish poaching can happen at any time and anywhere, I agree that there needs to be greater awareness within the police service of the legislation that can be used to combat the problem, said Mr Prince. 
“This and the work that the Angling Trust has been carrying out with our network of Wildlife Crime Officers, will hopefully achieve the outcome that we all desire."
"This is a massive step forward, which will bring an end to what has been an unacceptable scenario,” added Mr Sarkar. 
“We are extremely grateful to Mr Prince in particular, and to the National Wildlife Crime Unit, for essential and ongoing understanding and support - which ultimately means poachers will increasingly find themselves with criminal records and prosecuted."
To date, anglers have been frustrated when reporting to the police criminal offences connected with poaching and fish theft due to confusion arising from call-takers and operational police officers receiving no training in this area of their duty and responsibilities.

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