So, during difficult times of mass unemployment, austerity and reduced personal income all crime tends to increase, non more so than opportunist theft. Whilst some empathise with the misery of others, there will always be those happy to quickly seize upon any opportunity for some easy pickings.
These opportunities can and do turn previously honest people into criminals and as I’ve already said, even angling isn’t immune from these hard times. The impact of criminal behaviour upon angling should be the cause of real concern amongst all those who fish!
With this in mind, Crimestoppers the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) “working in partnership” (I hate that bloody term) have set up a new initiative, one that is designed to combat the main crime issues which are placing the enjoyment of angling under threat.
You can help to combat these crimes by taking more responsibility for your sport and providing information on illegal activity. With your help we can then target the right people: the ring leaders, the organisers, the individuals who stand to make the biggest profits – those with no care or interest in your sport or the welfare of the animals…(FHI)
The four key areas in question are:
- Smuggling fish from abroad
- Illegal fish movements between waters
- Fish theft and poaching
- Tackle theft
Fish smuggling & illegal movements: there are problems surrounding the illegal import and export of live fish, not least the health risks to our native stocks. It is why the system of authorisation and registration for farms and fisheries exists and they are required to be licensed.
Fish theft & poaching:
Tackle theft: it’s increasing at an alarming rate, as reports in the angling press and comments on internet angling forums attests. In spite of that, many anglers don’t give security a second thought.Some anglers store thousands of pounds worth of fishing tackle in flimsy garden sheds – only secured by a cheap padlock. In addition, people have been known to be followed home from matches only to find their gear has been stolen after the fact.
Thieves can easily break into poorly secured sheds and garages. Thieves and organised criminals with knowledge of angling dispose of stolen tackle through the internet and car boot sales, selling it at a fraction of its true value.
Remember; It’s always better to try to prevent crime and not to be a victim in the first place. This is why Crimestoppers have recently started their new crime prevention initiative for angling.