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Police rod licence patrol on British rivers


Speaker 1: The sitting, fishing and the hunting community has to work closely with the police. Firearm licenses, rod licenses and hunting within the law bring us all together. However, the countryside is full of rich pickings; metal, machinery and animals are all unfair gain which is why rural crime squads exist all over the nation. Today, we are at [unintelligible 0:26] officers from Kent’s Police and the environment agency on a joint operation in North Kent looking for people without a rod license or who are poaching fish.

PC Michael Laldow: Poaching fish in Kent is quite a big issue. We are not looking at poaching at this particular site here but later on today I will be looking for that sort of issue. But yeah the Eastern European, we hope to engage with their community to — also educational type of term how we deal with these. 

Speaker 1: The environment agency isn’t often accompanied by the police but the recent attack here on one of the agency staff has provoked a stronger presence. These operations have also proved successful with intelligence gathering. In the past, some people questioned about a rod license have actually been wanted for a far more serious crime but there’s none of that here today. 

PC Preston Frost: We’d love to see if the deal with poaching, a lot of [unintelligible 1:21] is frustrated with poaching going on to their land, tearing up crops and cause issues, [unintelligible 1:27] tradition is been a sport  with certain person within the society and it’s illegal so we’re cracking down on that. Being part of the wild life crime scene as well, we get all issues and destruction of habitat, birds. It could be endless on the hand of different jobs, we have to go.

Speaker 1: Our first few customers do have all the paperwork required even if they don’t have it to hand. Agency staff like Ben can make a quick check over the phone.

Ben Lord: I saw it, we can phone that through. How you doing? I saw you, you got anything?

Speaker 2: [unintelligible 2:02] Ben Lord: Oh did it?

Speaker 1: Our second lake delivers our first non-licensed holder.

PC Preston Frost: [unintelligible 2:10]? Oh yeah, oh dear. Alright, yeah, this chap will speak to you about that, grab some details from you.

Ben Lord: Because it’s an offense, I’m going to caution you to stay.
Speaker 3: Yeah.

Ben Lord: You’re not under arrest for [unintelligible 2:21]; it’s just that basically to question you. It’s just basically to caution you [unintelligible 2:25].

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Ben Lord: People are required to have to a rod license to fish the water and stuff and what we’re tending to find is some people who’ve got — which is unaware that they need a license or that they were game fishing on the presumption that license would be provided. So it’s a bit of an error on their part but we’ve recorded those facts and go from there really.

Speaker 1: The case will be referred to the environment agency legal team and depending on circumstances; it could result in a fine or a caution. This guy says he thought his wife had sorted it out for him. Just to show the police’s soft side, PC Frost has taken time to take a shot of the ducklings. 

PC Preston Frost: The ducklings here, the little orange one. Brilliant, see, this is where it’s all about. See, I’m a loving, caring, animal lover mate. That’s enough time, doesn’t it?

Speaker 1: Today is not only about whether the anglers have a license but if they have enough licenses. The more rods on the water, the more paperwork required. 

PC Preston Frost: Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea us doing it?

Speaker 4: Obviously it’s a good idea. 

PC Preston Frost: Why?

Speaker 4: It’s a good idea, it should be checked.

PC Preston Frost: Will you pay yours so why should –

Speaker 4: [unintelligible 3:48] because I’m a pensioner.

PC Preston Frost: Right.

Speaker 5: Yes it’s a good idea, yeah. I’m mainly in the dike [unintelligible 3:55-3:58] rivers and things like that, so yeah.

Speaker 1: Back at the cafe, we do a quick calculation and the results are in.

PC Preston Frost: 39 people were checked and out of the 39 that we checked is 8 people who didn’t have a license and there’s varying reasons for not having a license but those [unintelligible 4:11] referred off the environment, I would have someone in there in due course. The police get warning or they make it a fine, depending on what they decide to do.

Speaker 1: Now from stop and search to a heist. Our last stop is known for fish poaching but the guys we stopped here are all up to date. Apart from this guy who sponsors from the other bank and tries to get his license online. Whether it is the slowness of 3G or the half hour wait before a license is issued, he is too late and is given the bad news. It has been an interesting day. No one was done for keeping back our monster carp for the barbecue but some were given a gentle reminder that it pays to get your rod license at the start of the season or even a day ticket. Rod licenses are available at post offices and on the line at the