POLICE are vowing to take on illegal fishing in the ominously-named Operation Clampdown 5.

Wiltshire Police rural crime officers will be working closely with the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency focusing on tackling fishing offences during the close season, which runs between March 15 and June 15.

During this time, coarse angling is suspended on rivers, streams and some specified canals and still waters, to protect spawning fish.

During Operation Clampdown 5, Angling Trust volunteer bailiffs will be reporting any suspicious activity to the Environment Agency and to the police if illegal fishing is spotted on private waters.

Rural crime officer PC Marc Jackson said: “Wiltshire Police along with the Rural Crime Partnership are committed to working with local communities, and those involved in legal fishing activities to tackle fishing related offence.

“The rural policing team will be carrying out targeted patrols in areas where information suggests illegal fishing is taking place.

“Fishing offences can be committed by a variety of people and in numerous ways, from those working alone to organised criminal gangs who will steal to order on a larger scale.

“This has a negative impact on the surrounding communities and a financial impact on the fishing clubs.

“We would encourage local fishermen or clubs to get involved in the Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiff scheme via their website, and work with us to combat this type of criminality.

“Anyone with any information which may assist in the disruption of such activity, can contact any of the agencies involved in Operation Clampdown.”