Neighbourhood police officers have joined forces with the Environment Agency to patrol the River Tees as part of a partnership approach to tackling a range of offences.
Around 58 offences, including, fishing for freshwater fish during the close season, fishing without an Environment Agency rod licence, and failing to produce correct details were detected after Police Community Support Officers and staff from the agency carried out a number of boat patrols from the Tees Barrage to Worsall.
The operation ran from March to June during the close season for fishing for freshwater fish on the River Tees, with the season being regulated and enforced by Environment Agency byelaws. Police assisted the agency to enforce the byelaws whilst dealing with any antisocial behaviour, illegal fires or drug and alcohol offences along the river.
At court on Tuesday, 11 July the operation was already reaping results. Luke Johnson, 26, of Wykeham Close in Redcar, was fined £435, ordered to pay costs of £127, and a victim surcharge of £43.
He was charged with fishing during close season and without a rod licence at Preston Park on the River Tees, on 15 April, 2017.
The offences were proved in his absence at Teesside Magistrates’ Court
The operation was developed as part of the Tees Rural Crime Forum.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, who chairs the forum, has strengthened the partnership through the new operation.
He said: “The Rural Crime Forum continues to do great work to tackle offences that cause harm to our communities and these patrols are one step further in building upon the partnership with the Environment Agency. We hope to continue these boat patrols throughout the rest of the year.”
Andrew Naylor, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for the Environment Agency said: “This operation was a great success, proving that partnership working is important in helping to protect Cleveland’s wildlife and countryside
“The close season is such an important time for the river as it helps to maintain and develop the rivers fish stocks and the patrols cover an area that is otherwise difficult to access.”
Posted on Wednesday 19th July 2017