Norfolk Constabulary has launched an operation in a bid to tackle illegal fishing in the county.
Coinciding with the first day of the fishing season, Operation Traverse aims to prevent fishery and water course crime, such as the theft of fish, set line fishing, catch and keep fishing and seine netting.
This campaign is in direct response to local concerns about illegal fishing as part of our commitment to tackling rural crimeSergeant Mark Askham
Officers will be working in partnership with the Environment Agency to conduct patrols around local rivers, lakes, ponds and waterways over the coming months.
Lorne Green, Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, has also funded the production of 100 corrugated signs which will be placed around key areas to educate anglers that their actions could be illegal.
Anyone caught breaking the law could face a substantial fine or prison.
Mr Green said: “I am delighted my office has been able to fund such a scheme in the west of the county. Illegal fishing is just one aspect of rural crime that I am keen to tackle as part of my ongoing pledge to address rural crime in Norfolk.”
And Sergeant Mark Askham added: “This campaign is in direct response to local concerns about illegal fishing as part of our commitment to tackling rural crime.
“Illegal fishing practices not only have a detrimental effect on rural communities and businesses, but can also be harmful to the wild fish population on stretches of rivers.
“We hope that by patrolling the waterways and installing the posters, we will be able to help educate and encourage local communities to enjoy angling within the law.”
For more information on Norfolk Constabulary and Operation Traverse, go online to the force website at www.norfolk.police.uk.