Police are stepping up their patrols of county waterways to combat illegal fishing after the man in charge of the operation admits the service has “fallen short” in the past.
Lincolnshire Police is also asking the public to play their part by calling 101 if they suspect fish are being taken from rivers illegally.
Working with the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and other partners, Lincolnshire Police launched Operation Traverse in November 2014 as a response to the concerns of the angling community about fish being stolen from local waterways.
As well as pro-active patrols by specialist officers, part of the operation was aimed at raising awareness within the police service that fishing without permission and the theft of fish are criminal matters that the police should deal with.
Chief Insp Jim Tyner, force lead for rural crime, said: “Fishing offences are not the sort of thing that officers encounter every day, so education of officers is vitally important.
“This is a long process. Unfortunately there have been occasions when the service provided has fallen short.
“I accept and am addressing this.
“Moving forward I would take this opportunity to reassure the angling community that Lincolnshire Police remains committed to Operation Traverse and will continue to work with our partners on this important initiative.
“There will be increased patrols of Lincolnshire’s waterways and if you suspect illegal fishing, this should be reported via 101.”
• Police say Operation Traverse has been acknowledged as good practice and is being rolled out in other counties.