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Police crackdown on illegal fishing in Paddock Wood and Marden

Police have scaled up their efforts to tackle illegal fresh water fishing.

Officers from the Rural Task Force teamed up with the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency as part of a national campaign to target those who go out fishing without a licence and poaching.

On Sunday the squad visited fisheries in Paddock Wood and Marden on the lookout for law-breaking anglers.

Police were out alongside environment agency and The Angling Trust to catch law-breaking anglers
Police were out alongside environment agency and The Angling Trust to catch law-breaking anglers

The weekend's action formed part of Operation Traverse - a partnership effort between police forces and the Angling Trust.

The team checked around 150 anglers to ensure they were fishing legally and netted a total of 16 fishing offences.

A woman was on the hook after being found with a small quantity of cannabis and was issued a warning.

There's a lot of the line for rural communities when it comes to poaching, explained Sergeant Darren Walshaw of Kent Police's Rural Task Force.

"Businesses can be devastated by the effects within a relatively short-space of time," he said.

"Fishing clubs are concerned about the destruction of fish stock and the wider range of criminality that offenders are often linked to. We often get reports of drug and alcohol abuse around the lakes which can present a serious danger given the close proximity of very deep waters.

"The day's action formed part of our ongoing commitment to tackle the issue of poaching and support our local fisheries. We will be running similar enforcement days throughout the coming months."

Read more: All the latest news from Weald

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