Beware bogus river bailiffs

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Police and the Environment Agency are warning that a bogus bailiff may be operating in the area.

The man is allegedly asking to check anglers’ fishing licences and asks for on-the-spot fines when they are unable to produce it.

Environment Agency officers do not ask for payment or on-the-spot fines. A genuine agency bailiff will not take money on the bank side, or ask for money to be sent to them.

If approached by someone claiming to be an Environment Agency Bailiff or Fisheries Enforcement Officer, anglers should ask to see their warrant card and check that the name and photograph match.

If possible, make a note of the serial number.

Lesley Robertson, environmental crime team leader, said: “Our bailiffs never ask for on-the-spot fines. This is an obvious sign that it is a bogus official.

“The correct protocol is for a suspected offender to be given an offence report form. If this results in a prosecution, money from the fine will be used for the ebenfit of the watercourses.

“It is very rare that somebody would pose as a bailiff and we take this crime very seriously.”

Anyone with concerns about suspicious activity on the county’s waterways is asked to contact the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060. Information about bogus officials can call Lincolnshire police on 101.