Wiltshire Police Canal Watch

Alert message sent 23/05/2019 11:39:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police


This is a Wiltshire Canal Watch newsletter sent from Wiltshire Police. You can share this message with anyone you feel would benefit from it; they can sign up to receive it directly from Wiltshire Messaging. choosing ‘Canal Watch’ as an interest and ‘The Police’ as an information provider.
Replies to this newsletter are not monitored 24/7. If you want to give information on anything included in this newsletter or report a crime or incident this must be done via 101. Call 999 if someone is at immediate risk of being injured or a crime is in progress.



Recent Incidents and Crime

Update of crimes and incidents throughout Wiltshire that have occurred on, or been linked, to the canals, their towpaths or marinas since the last newsletter on 25th April 2019 until 23rd May 2019.

Area Date and Time Crime Reference Details
River Avon, Holt 19/04/19 12:00 54190039635 Near to the Nestle factory two males (white, early 20’s, eastern European ethnicity) were fishing in the open water with rods set up and landing nets. This is during close season and on a stretch of river that has private rights.
Wilcot, Pewsey 25/04/19 14:00-14:45 54190039653 Unknown suspect/s have gained entry to a locked vehicle by unknown means whilst it was parked by the canal. They have stolen a blue denim backpack containing a mobile phone and 2 sets of keys.
Kennet & Avon Canal, Trowbridge 13/5/19 14:10-14:20 54190045660 Unknown suspect collided with a narrow boat whist exiting a lock, causing minor damage.

Going Fishing? We’re asking Anglers to know the law…

It is currently the fishing close season. The close season, between 15 March and 15 June is when coarse angling is suspended on rivers, streams and some specified canals and still waters to protect spawning fish. Generally any section of canal that joins with a river will be closed for close season as well as any sites with nature conservation designations (such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, SSSI’s).The maximum fine for fishing illegally during the close season is £50,000. We’re happy to say that the majority of anglers follow the rules and enjoy fishing legally and with a license; unfortunately there is a very small minority that do break the law.

Advice from the Canal & River Trust states:

On rivers, the traditional close season for course fishing runs from 15th March through to the 15th June inclusive. This applies to all rivers, including the ones we [Canal & River Trust] own fishing rights to. But most of our canals are still open.

There is part of the Kennet & Avon Canal that is listed closed: Downstream of confluence with River Kennet at Kintbury to Reading.
They also provide guidance on what’s open, with most stillwater (reservoirs) able to remain open all year depending on if it has a nature conservation status. Visit the Canal & River Trust website for more information on where you can fish and the permits that would be required.
Whether or not you’re a keen angler, if you spend time around rivers, streams and canals please bear in mind these rules. If you see people fishing and believe them to be breaching the close season make a note of their description, time and location seen. Only if it is safe to do so without drawing attention to yourself, you could take a photograph. You can then call Wiltshire Police on 101, the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or you can anonymously call Rural Crimestoppers on 0800 783 0137.

The maximum fine for fishing illegally during the close season is £50,000💰.

The majority of anglers follow the rules and enjoy finishing legally and with a license. Unfortunately there is a small minority that do break the law.

You can report anything suspicious by calling 101. Or call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. See it. Report it. Stop it.

There are still opportunities to fish for coarse fish while rivers and streams are off limits. The vast majority of still waters and canals will be open and anglers should check their local byelaws (www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-fishing-byelaws ) for the list of sites included within the statutory close season.

You can also find out where you can still fish locally via http://www.gethooked.co.uk/#5ab001f9c22db



Message sent by
Lauren Clark (Police, Watch Co-ordinator, Wiltshire and Swindon)

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