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Night patrols stepped up at troubled angling spots
1:10pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
NIGHT patrols have been stepped up following an upsurge in anti-social behaviour centred on two angling ‘hot spots’ in Westleigh.
Police and the Environment Agency fisheries officers have combined to target the area around Firs Park Lake and Fir Tree Flash following a spate of incidents.
Drink-fuelled fights, rowdiness and unathorised night fishing have led to a series of complaints from residents living in the vicinity of the waters.
A police spokesman said: “A series of high profile, proactive patrols have led to a drop in complaints. Firs Park Lake and Fir Tree Flash are controlled by Leigh and District Anglers Association, which does not allow night fishing at either venue. Further patrols are planned.”
Environment Agency officers can deal with fishing-related offences, which include powers to search, seize and arrest, and several park users have been advised by police after being searched for alcohol.
Three people have been reported for fishing without a valid Environment Agency rod licence.
Frank Partington, acting secretary of the Leigh and District Angling Association, said: “We are very limited as to what we can do. If the people causing trouble and breaking the rules by fishing at night are members of the association we can discipline them, but if they are not there is little we can do.
“We are distributing flyers to all the residents in the area to let them know which local officers they should call if it happens, but sometimes people are hesitant to contact the police if they think it might be people around where they live.
“We don’t want this to carry on because it paints us in a bad light when we have not done anything wrong, and all our members know that night fishing is not allowed.”
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