Security is of great importance at the Lake not only to secure your car and belongings but to also secure the fish that we stock.
All members are reminded that they should not share the access code with anyone who is not a member Below is a summary of the best procedure to follow should you encounter any individuals you feel may be acting suspiciously.
Fishing without permission is a Schedule 1 Theft Act 1968, and therefore a criminal, offence. It is not the EA's responsibility to deal with this but that of the police. Understandably, this is not an area of law in which police officers are generally trained, so we are in the early stages of liaising with all 43 forces to educate officers regarding their responsibility. To date, the Angling Trust via Fisheries Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar, have concentrated on forces in SE England, all of which are engaged on joint VBS/EA/police patrols in that region and in support of Operation CLAMP DOWN 2. Indeed a Hampshire Police officer recently checked, purely coincidentally, one of our Area Coordinator's licenses; this was very encouraging, but unfortunately the police's overall understanding remains inconsistent. In an effort to resolve this, last year we uploaded the 'Elementary Guide to Angling Law & Fisheries Enforcement' to making this simple guide available to every police officer in England. This, however, relies upon an officer searching that database for information, so this upload is not a cure-all. We now, however, have one!Every offence which the police are duty bound to deal with has a unique Home Office Code. We now have the Code for Theft of Fishing Rights: 116/11. If, therefore, anglers quote this when reporting incidents, the police will understand that they must deal with the matter, rather than misinterpret the situation as a civil matter and/or try to pass the job off to the EA. Provision of the Code will mean that from the initial stage the call taker will understand that this is a police matter, and police officers responding can check the relevant instructions.One of our fishery owner members was recently the victim in such a case, which the police duly processed, but at court the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer completely misunderstood the Theft of Fishing Rights offence - and discontinued those proceedings. Acting upon the advice of Fisheries Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar, said member complained to the CPS. Gerry Wareham, the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, recently acknowledged the error, apologised, and instructed all CPS lawyers to proceed with such cases - and if in doubt liaise with Andrew Vaughan, the Lead Prosecutor. This really is a major step forward.
Please do take a minute to make a note of the code 116/11 to use if you ever need to report a case of the Theft of Fishing Rights, i.e. poaching, to the police.