Following weeks of intense activity involving the societies Angling Trust voluntary bailiffs and the environment agency, enforcement teams turned their attention to the overflow complex at Sideway.
The routine licence check resulted in one angler being arrested after failing to produce a rod licence, giving false details and attempting to leave the scene, the illegal angler was quickly apprehended and handcuffed and now faces a court appearance and a substantial fine. We believe the angler was not in possession of a club licence which is also a criminal offence and liable to further prosecution.
Our voluntary bailiffs have been patrolling the societies waters, quietly collecting information and building a picture of any possible problem areas, reports have been added to an enforcement database monitored by the Angling Trust and Environment Agency which resulted in the site being identified as a hot spot for illegal activity to be investigated.
The spot checks are to continue for the foreseeable future and any offenders will be prosecuted, the society also intends to continue to work closely with the police who are now regularly patrolling the overflow complex to reduce illegal fishing and anti social behaviour, officers have been authorised to remove non members from the site and persistent offenders run the risk of prosecution.
Any member who suspects illegal activities may be taking place should contact a club official with any relevant information, any reports will be confidential and will be passed on to the voluntary bailiffs. Under no circumstances should you approach an offender, if you believe an angling related criminal offence is in progress and it is safe to do so you should contact the environment agency hotline on 0800 807060. The police can be contacted by dialing 101 to register any concerns.