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New fishery poaching laws useless

New fishery poaching laws useless

National’s Fisheries spokesman, Phil Heatley, says new regulations and penalties for fisheries offending will be mostly useless as long as the fisheries officer service remains gutted.

He is commenting on the announcement today of new offences and penalties relating to customary fishing rules.

“It’s all very well having new laws, and penalties for breaching them, but the reality is that the fisheries officer service – both professional and honorary –

has been gutted by Labour, so how are they going to be policed?

“Officers have been forced to work in pairs by this government where they should be trusted to use their professional discretion. The dictum effectively halves the length of coastline they patrol.

“Many poachers have no regard for the law because they have no fear of being caught. If they are, then they are invariably set free when the prosecution fails because of Crown Law incompetence.

“Furthermore, it is appalling that even paired officers refuse to patrol some areas of our coastline because they fear for their safety.

“Labour has been soft on poachers for too long.

“National will significantly increase front-line fishery officer numbers and require coordination of front-line staff, Police and Crown Law to ensure consistently successful prosecution and deterrence of fish thieves,” Mr Heatley says.


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