Police wear night-vision goggles to catch two illegal fishermen

Pictured is one of the signs at entry and exit points show angling is not permitted
-Credit: (Image: Nottinghamshire Police)

Two men have been handed five-year criminal behaviour orders that will see them banned from two rural spots. Officers from the Bassetlaw neighbourhood policing team travelled to the Idle Valley Nature Reserve site, near Retford, on the night of February 2 due to previous reports of illegal fishing.

At around 8pm, they spotted repeat offenders Luke Douglas and Layton Janes fishing on the lake, which is a no-fishing private site with multiple signs at entry and exit points to show angling is not permitted. Janes was in possession of fishing rods and equipment.

The 28-year-old initially tried to evade officers by running through a field containing livestock and when he returned to his vehicle, he admitted to night fishing. When officers asked him why he was there, he replied: “I thought we would get away with it this time.”

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Douglas, aged 22, had rods set up at the side of the lake and was controlling a bait boat which was in the lake. Janes and Douglas, both of Leeds, were reported for summons to appear in court.

They pleaded guilty to unlawfully attempting to take fish and were handed five-year criminal behaviour orders when they appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 23. Under the terms of their orders, which will run to May 23, 2029, Janes and Douglas are banned from entering Idle Valley Nature Reserve and Clumber Park and are prohibited from fishing or being in possession of fishing equipment in the Bassetlaw district.

Janes’ order also prohibits him from being in possession of a drone on Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust property. Janes was also fined £320 and Douglas £160.

Nottinghamshire Police say the convictions were secured thanks to work by PC Hollie Marsh. Inspector Hayley Crawford, district commander for Bassetlaw, said: “Hollie is a brilliant officer and is so passionate about combatting rural and wildlife crime.

“These criminal behaviour orders will send out a positive crime prevention message to deter other offenders intent on breaking the law by illegal fishing in our area. It is important to appreciate that fish theft is not a victimless crime. It is an offence which can have a serious impact.

"Many fish that are stolen are worth thousands of pounds, negatively impacting on local businesses, livelihoods and the angling community, and this type of criminality can also cause substantial environmental damage. Janes and Douglas had previously received cautions for illegal fishing and trespassed on this private land on numerous occasions.

"They clearly had no remorse and no respect for the law, ignoring the numerous signs at this site which clearly state that fishing is prohibited. Working closely with our partners, we will continue to protect our wildlife, detect crime, and prevent this type of offending.”

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