Agencies unite to thwart poachers

image captionLegitimate angling can be an important boost to a local economy

Police and the Environment Agency have been cracking down on rural crime in the north east of England.

The agency's fisheries enforcement teams have been working with local forces to find the most efficient ways to catch offenders.

Illegal activities such as poaching have been targeted.

In a series of joint initiatives they have been checking vehicles for suspected fish poachers and identifying anglers fishing without a licence.

Legitimate angling brings in thousands of pounds to the local economy through accommodation, meals and charges for fishing rights and equipment.

Kevin Summerson, special enforcement team leader, said: "Whilst a lot of work has been done there is still a long way to go to reduce the amount of fish being illegally taken from the river.

"Over the past year we have successfully targeted areas including Blyth, Consett, Cleveland, Kielder, Hexham, Lesbury and Wolsingham.

"So far the operations have been very successful resulting in several prosecutions.

"Using our shared knowledge has saved time, money and staff resources."

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