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Enforcement

Protecting fish and fisheries from poachers and fish thieves and increasing rod licence compliance has to be of great importance to all anglers. The aquatic environment and the sport fishing industry deserve to be protected – and those who cheat honest anglers by not contributing to funding improvements must be brought to book. The Angling Trust has listened carefully to the concerns of anglers, angling clubs, fishery owners and managers, and in partnership with the Environment Agency has devised a very clear vision and strategy to tackle the issues. 

Fisheries Enforcement Support Service

The ‘FESS’ is a partnership between the Angling Trust and Environment Agency and funded by English freshwater fishing licence income. The FESS went ‘live’ on 1st November 2015, following the Angling Trust being awarded the National Angling Strategic Services contract by the Environment Agency.

FESS managers are all retired police officers of immense experience – and, as anglers themselves, perfectly understand the issues faced and required response.

The FESS builds on the groundwork and vision firmly laid between 2012-2015 and exists to support the Environment Agency, the statutory lead on fisheries enforcement, through:

  • Coordinating a multi-agency approach to fisheries crime and compliance, encouraging a partnership approach. 
  • Raising awareness throughout the police service, Crown Prosecution Service and Magistrates’ Association. 
  • Helping advise the police and Agency and helping put things right should the service fall short. 
  • Increasing incoming intelligence and sharing of that information. 
  • Upskilling the angling community through Fisheries Enforcement Workshops and the provision of expert advice to angling clubs and fisheries. 
  • Delivering the Voluntary Bailiff Service throughout England, empowering anglers to contribute to fisheries enforcement. 
  • Delivering the Building Bridges Project, aimed at the education and integration of migrant anglers. 

Please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Enforcement Manager for professional enforcement advice. Contact details can be found here.

Voluntary Bailiff Service

The Voluntary Bailiff Service is an increasingly important partnership between the Angling Trust and Environment Agency, empowering anglers to support the police and Agency in fighting back against fisheries crime and protecting fish and fisheries. The VBS initiative continues to be enormously successful, driving forward positive change.

Effective enforcement today is ‘intelligence-led’, relying upon incoming calls and information. This country has a long and proud history of volunteering, the police, for example, have received essential support from the Special Constabulary for many years and now have 500,000 Police Support Volunteers nationally.

Indeed, in Eastern Europe, government fisheries officers are supported by a huge army of volunteers – 5,000 in Poland alone – and in Holland, Royal Sportfisserij Nederland effectively manages and administers fisheries enforcement volunteers.

The Voluntary Bailiff Service, therefore, is a unique opportunity for freshwater anglers in England to positively contribute towards supporting the Environment Agency and police in protecting fish and fisheries.

Following a hugely successful pilot project in South East England between 2012 and 2015, the VBS revolves entirely around training Volunteer Bailiffs to report incidents and information to the appropriate agency and to a high evidential standard, thereby increasing the chances of successful prosecutions.

The VBS is inclusive, embracing volunteers from all age groups, sexes and ethnicities and we particularly welcome applications from the BAME community. The Angling Trust is also a member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

 

 

 
 

A Voluntary Bailiff examines a recovered hoop net with an Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer

Due to health and safety considerations, the volunteers are not expected to approach anglers on the bank – but report what they see and hear. It emphasises how vitally important reporting is and calls should be made to the 24-hour Environment Agency incident hotline 0800 80 70 60.

The VBS is currently administered by six regions throughout England, each run by an Angling Trust Regional Enforcement Manager, who works very closely with the Environment Agency and police. Each region is sub-divided into areas, each with an Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer acting as a Single Point of Contact, liaising with a volunteer serving as an Area Co-ordinator.

Training is provided by Angling Trust staff, who are both retired police officers and anglers; the Environment Agency; UK National Wildlife Crime Unit or local police, and the Fish Health Inspectorate.

Volunteers receive a pocketbook, identity card and Angling Trust clothing. Most importantly, access is provided to the secure VBS website for reporting purposes and information sharing. All volunteers must be over 18 years of age.

Annually, the VBS participates in Operation CLAMPDOWN with the Environment Agency and police, cracking down on illegal fishing during the coarse close season. This is a perfect opportunity to promote and increase partnership working, intelligence gathering and sharing – and for Volunteer Bailiffs to work directly with the professionals on joint patrols. During the 2019 close season, Operation CLAMPDOWN ran for the seventh consecutive year. Volunteer Bailiffs throughout England demonstrated their massive commitment to protecting fish and fisheries and cracking down on licence cheats by logging 3,650 patrols and reporting 131 incidents to the Environment Agency and police during ‘OCD7’.

All anglers can help this process, in fact – at any time of year – by reporting information and offences in progress to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60, or the police on 101/999 as appropriate.

If you are interested in joining the Voluntary Bailiff Service please complete the VBS Application Form:

 

What our volunteers say

“The Voluntary Bailiff Service has taken a step into the future and utilised the biggest asset that the angling world has, the anglers themselves.” 

“I honestly believe the VBS is a fantastic step for fishery enforcement and protection. The concept is extremely simple, however the information that can be received from it could be crucial in tackling many issues that the angling world faces.”  – Becky, East of England

“Becoming a Voluntary Bailiff has enhanced my job as a police wildlife officer and opened the doors to many new contacts in the angling and fishery businesses to assist with joint Patrols.”  – Nick, South West

“Great Training, information and advice. Flexible times and locations to suit you. A very enjoyable cause. Come and join us.”  – Terry, South West

“For me, Joining the Voluntary Bailiff Service is a way I can give something back to the community, making good use of my retirement. It is not about catching people doing wrong, for me the reward comes from educating and helping people do things right, both in terms of legalities but also in looking after our waters and wildlife.”  – Clifford, Midlands

“I guess I got to an age when I felt the need to give something back to the sport of angling. I was already a club bailiff and the Voluntary Bailiff Service seemed to be a natural extension of what the clubs were doing individually already. I firmly believe that the work I have done in my area has had a huge impact. I strongly urge all anglers who have some spare time to get involved.”  – Michael, North West

“The Voluntary Bailiff Service is a very important and vital organisation for us as anglers. As a Voluntary Bailiff I can help to protect our beautiful sport.” – Maciej, South East

“The updating of the electronic database is quick and easy and can be used by anyone without IT knowledge.”  – Ben, VB and PCSO

“Got to say I had a great time meeting and patrolling with you all. Great place and great people. Days like that are what life is about. Plenty of people asked me what the Angling Trust was about, it was great to get such a positive reaction.”  – Graeme, North East

Paul, an Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer, contacted us to say: “I carried out a joint patrol on Thursday with one of your VBS bailiffs. I just want to say what a credit he is to the VBS. From my perspective he is exactly what the VBS was set up for. Even if he doesn’t note any illegal activities, we know that on a regular basis the key areas are being covered without using EA resources, allowing us to focus in other areas.”

 

Fishing Licence Offences

Monthly Prosecutions

The Angling Trust encourages all anglers to comply with the law and buy an Environment Agency rod licence at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences/buy-a-fishing-licence

The funds raised from licence sales are spent on improving fish stocks and promoting angling, including several programmes of work delivered by the Angling Trust itself.

This data is provided periodically by the Environment Agency, and only refers to prosecutions of anglers that were conducted by courts in England in the month stated.

It does not include resolutions by way of cautions , warning letters and, advice and guidance letters.

 

July 2021

 

Court Offender Name Age Address Hearing Date Offence Location Nearest Town Offence Date Offence Verdict Sentence Penalty
City Of London Mark Hunt 21 Nuneaton Road, Dagenham 14/07/2021 The Chase Fishery (formally Known As White Hart Lakes) Dagenham 24/09/2020 Preparing To Fish With No Licence Guilty Fined £469.00
Hastings Adam Johnson 32 Desmond Drive, Norwich 22/07/2021 Cobbleacre Lakes Hevingham 01/05/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Andrew Bamford 36 Eccles Way, Holt 22/07/2021 Cobbleacre Lakes Hevingham 01/05/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Anthony John Sneyd 49 Copthorne Road, Crawley 22/07/2021 Frant Lakes Frant 18/04/2021 Preparing To Fish With No Licence Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Bobby Wallace 25 Vellum Drive, Sittingbourne 22/07/2021 Orchard Place Farm Paddock Wood 11/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £159.00
Hastings Clayton Harrison 43 Commercial Road, Lowestoft 22/07/2021 Coston Carp Lakes Coston 25/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Daniel Shorter 29 St. Martin Close, Handcross 22/07/2021 Ditchling Common Pond Burgess Hill 24/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £214.00
Hastings Danny Newman 23 Grange Road, Tunbridge Wells 22/07/2021 Claygate Paddock Wood 18/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £252.00
Hastings David Barton 65 Conington Fen, Peterborough 22/07/2021 Cobbleacre Lakes Hevingham 17/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Gary Hobbs 60 Nutfield Road, Coulsdon 22/07/2021 Claygate Paddock Wood 18/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Conditional Discharge: 3 Months £50.00
Hastings Jake Evans 22 The Crescent, Littleport 22/07/2021 River Ouse Littleport 20/04/2021 Close Season Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £439.00
Hastings Joseph Saunders 48 Simpson Close, Maidenhead 22/07/2021 Farlows Lake Iver 24/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Louis Thomas Mist 20 Shipley Road, Crawley 22/07/2021 Lodge Lake – Greens Farm Newdigate 24/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £205.00
Hastings Rhys Thurtell 32 Buxton Road, Spixworth 22/07/2021 Cobbleacre Lakes Hevingham 01/05/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Richard Newman 57 Boston Road, Haywards Heath 22/07/2021 Borde Hill Gardens Cuckfield 24/04/2021 Preparing To Fish With No Licence Guilty Fined £294.00
Hastings Ryan Bean 29 Blenheim Crescent, Norwich 27/07/2021 Catch 22 Lyng 26/05/2019 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £311.00
Hastings Sam Liam Charlesworth 27 Newpool Road, Knypersley 22/07/2021 Farlows Lake Iver 24/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Sean Furness 38 Westbourne Road, Chatteris 22/07/2021 Mepal Outdoor Centre Mepal 02/05/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £319.00
Hastings Stephen Ross 33 Setford Road, Chatham 22/07/2021 Monk Lakes Maidstone 03/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Hastings Tim Gale 41 Buckland Way, Worcester Park 22/07/2021 Field Common Lake Walton-On-Thames 25/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £987.00
Hastings Wayne Kirby 41 Stockton Road, Reigate 22/07/2021 Centre Lake – Dean House Farm Newdigate 24/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £224.00
North Cheshire James Hall 22 Hurst Street, Leigh 14/07/2021 Lake Windermere – North Basin Windermere 25/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £329.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Aaron Chamberlain 32 Chiswell Drive, Coalville 05/07/2021 Pride Lakes (hemington) 12/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £419.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Andrejs Krukle 36 Uxbridge Street, Burton-on-trent 05/07/2021 Burton On Trent – River Trent Stapenhill 27/03/2021 Close Season Fishing Guilty Fined £435.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Carl Grey 37 Bonney Road, Leicester 05/07/2021 Peatling Parva Pools Peatling Parva 11/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Daniel Mouland 40 Whitehouse Common Road, Sutton Coldfield 05/07/2021 Powell’s Pool – Sutton Park Sutton Coldfield 11/04/2021 Close Season Fishing Guilty Fined £209.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Elliott Wallhead 25 Sterling Close, Worksop 05/07/2021 Haxey Gate – River Idle 09/01/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £289.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Gareth Stones 31 Godnow Road, Crowle 05/07/2021 River Torne Epworth 07/03/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £305.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
James Coe 25 Styrrup Road, Harworth 05/07/2021 Haxey Gate – River Idle 09/01/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £302.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Jason Buck 32 Jerrys Lane, Birmingham 05/07/2021 Powell’s Pool – Sutton Park Sutton Coldfield 11/04/2021 Close Season Fishing Guilty Fined £269.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Jim Parnham 40 Walton Court, Carlton 05/07/2021 Colwick – River Trent Nottingham 20/03/2021 Preparing To Fish With No Licence Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Jordan Chell 20 Rawson Street, Selston 05/07/2021 East Bridgford – River Trent Nottingham 20/03/2021 Close Season Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Lewis Connor 30 Normanville Avenue, Brinsworth 05/07/2021 Hallcroft Retford 18/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £294.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Michael Tolan 58 Serpentine Street, Market Rasen 05/07/2021 Tattershall – River Witham 30/11/2020 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £209.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Mihail Chetrari 32 Regent Square, Northampton 05/07/2021 River Nene, Earls Barton Earls Barton 03/01/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £302.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Radu Ispas Constantin 32 Caversham Road, Leicester 05/07/2021 Coopers Hall Lake Weston On Trent 12/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £319.00
Northampton Magistrates’
Court
Shaun Breheney 32 Barlby Road, Selby 05/07/2021 Dunham Ponds Dunham On Trent 03/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £389.00
Swindon Craig Johnson 29 Richmond Park Avenue, Bournemouth 08/07/2021 Orchard Lakes New Milton 14/03/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £315.00
Swindon Jason Gillespie 50 Queens Road, Waterlooville 09/07/2021 Riverside Park – River Itchen Southampton 29/10/2020 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £322.00
Swindon Jonathan Page 30 Normanton Road, Basingstoke 08/07/2021 Vale Farm Longparish 11/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £270.00
Swindon Joshua Hill 18 Roselands, Waterlooville 15/07/2021 Three Oaks Denmead 07/03/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £194.00
Swindon Kaine Derrick 19 Alexander Grove, Fareham 01/07/2021 Newlands Farm Fareham 06/02/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Proof In Absence Fined £339.00
Swindon Kieran Moors 25 Corbin Road, Pennington 08/07/2021 Orchard Lakes New Milton 14/03/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £230.00
Swindon Sean Page 28 Test Mews, Winchester Street, Whitchurch 08/07/2021 Vale Farm Longparish 10/04/2021 Unlicensed Fishing Guilty Fined £303.00
Total: £14,634.00

Data Licence:
The Limited Licence granted by the Angling Trust to use the information on this web page will automatically expire 1 calendar month from the date that it is first uploaded to the Angling Trust website. For the avoidance of doubt this varies the limited licence described elsewhere in this website’s Limited Notice.

Monthly Fisheries Prosecutions.
Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary of Terms

FAQs
1. I didn’t know about the court hearing date, what can I do? You can contact the Magistrates Court and ask for the case to be re-opened. www.find-court-tribunal.service.gov.uk/courts

2. Why are the outcomes different for the same offence? At each hearing, the Magistrates take into consideration: the facts of the case, the attitude of the offender, any mitigation offered by the offender and their ability to pay any financial punishment.

Glossary of Terms
‘Penalty’ The penalty is what offender has to pay. It comprises the sum of the fine for the offence committed; a contribution to the Environment Agency costs; the Criminal Court Charge and a victim surcharge. The fine and victim surcharge is decided by the Magistrates hearing the case on the day. Fines go to the treasury. Costs go to the Environment Agency and contribute to the cost incurred in taking the case to court. Victim Surcharge goes to a specific fund for victims of crime. See: http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/sentencing/victim-surcharge.htm

‘proof in absence’ The defendant did not enter a plea at the time their case was heard. The Court convicted the person in their absence.

‘Abs. Disch.’ The defendant is guilty but no fine is imposed

‘conditional discharge’ The defendant is guilty but no fine is imposed. There are conditions attached to the discharge: if re-offending occurs within the period of the discharge, the defendant can be sentenced for the original offence and the new one.

‘forfeiture order’ Equipment used in the offence is taken from the defendant and destroyed.

‘disqualification order’ The defendant is disqualified for a period of time, from holding or obtaining a fishing licence. You can’t fish during the period of disqualification.

Operation TRAVERSE and Operation LEVIATHAN

 

 

Poaching – fishing without permission – and fish theft, along with anti-social behaviour and other crime at fisheries are of great concern to all anglers.

Whilst the police deal with criminal matters, the Environment Agency is the statutory lead agency on fisheries enforcement. Essentially, this largely involves rod licence compliance and fisheries offences. Clearly then, the police and Agency have distinct roles – and must work smarter together.

To encourage this, in November 2014 Operation TRAVERSE, targeting poaching and fish theft, was launched at Lincolnshire Police headquarters, followed in June 2015, by Operation LEVIATHAN, launched at West Mercia Police headquarters. Most forces in the country now subscribe to one or other, ensuring that the Agency receives better support and anglers an improved service.

We must all understand that the system is ‘intelligence-led’, meaning that every incoming call and piece of information is vital. Indeed, the statistics arising are what quantify problems and arguments for more resources.

It is crucial that crimes in progress are reported to the police (police advise using 999 if appropriate), and fisheries offences to the Agency on 0800 80 70 60.