When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire anglers hit by bogus fines scam
8:00pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
ANGLERS have been told to be vigilant after a scam involving bogus environment officers was uncovered.
Blackburn with Hyndburn Angling Association and The Environment Agency issued the warning to people fishing in East Lancashire after a man was reported to be demanding on-the-spot fines while posing as a fisheries enforcement officer.
Two incidents are thought to have happened on the River Ribble and more have been reported on a river in Wigan.
The man approached anglers to ask them to produce their rod licence before duping them into handing over £40 at a time.
Graham Parkes, chairman of the Angling Association, said: “In no situation would a genuine environment agency officer demand an on-the-spot fine.
“If anyone is approached by this man they should ask politely to see his warrant which should have a photo ID, take down the serial number and not pay any money to him.
“He may have been hit by the economic downturn or it could be that he is just a professional scammer but it is a concern that we hope will result in an arrest being made.
“There was a similar situation in Foulridge a few months ago which we’re not sure is connected or not but quite a few got caught out.“ Darren Bedworth, of the Environment Agency, said: “We’re working with club representatives to gather information about these reports.
“The correct protocol is for a suspected offender without a rod licence to be given an offence report form.
“It is very rare that somebody would pose as a bailiff and we take this crime very seriously. All Environment Agency bailiffs will happily show their warrant card.”
Anyone with concerns is asked to contact the Environment Agency 24-hour incident hotline number on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also call police on 101.
Comments are closed on this article.