Angling: Theft of angling gear comes under the national spotlight

Fishing gear can be worth thousands of pounds.
Fishing gear can be worth thousands of pounds.
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I got quite a surprise the other day when I switched on the Crimewatch programme on BBC TV to find that one of the major items on the agenda was the theft of fishing tackle.

The producer of this edition of the show was, I believe, Denise Mather and she said that this was the first time that fishing tackle theft has played a prominent part and she wanted to show the general public how big a problem is tackle theft.

As all anglers will know there has been an increase in this sort of thing in recent years and the sad thing is that when the stolen goods are eventually disposed of it is at a fraction of their true value; usually on the internet or more likely at a car boot sale.

The programme is now classified as a roadshow where they will visit various areas of the country on a weekly basis, and this particular show was filmed in the North East.

Quite a big chunk of the 45-minute programme was devoted to angling.

Top angler Jan Porter was the first to be interviewed and he told how he had gear valued at £20,000 stolen from his heavily fortified brick-built garage last year – and he was not insured.

He was extremely fortunate however as a friend of his spotted it on offer at a local sale and he got the bulk of it back.

Also interviewed was a tackle shop owner whose store was broken into and gear to the value of thousands of pounds was taken in less than five minutes.

Nearer home I recall that last year Andrew Benn, the owner of the Yorkshire Groundbaits Company, had also had a store room broken into and had various angling products to the value of £100,000 taken.

The Angling Trust have come up with a solution whereby large items of fishing tackle such as rods, poles, boxes etc can be marked with a security device.

In conjunction with the security firm Smartwater Technology they have provided a £9.99 pack which enables the police to track items of stolen gear. The unit features a forensic solution which can be painted on certain items and assigns them a unique code which is registered to the owner.

Once applied it is almost impossible to remove and can only be seen under exposure to ultra violet light.

A special one-off deal of £9.99 is available at the moment but only to Angling Trust members and this cost also includes VAT and postage.

Members can place an order by contacting 0800 321 669 quoting code ANG10 along with their Angling Trust membership number.

Congratulations, meanwhile, to ex-Leeds junior member Kayleigh Smith who won the 2014 Ladies National Championship which was fished recently at Boldings Pools in Shropshire.

Using pole tactors with pellet and caster as bait, she caught a mixed bag of carp and barbel for a 102.7 total.

Don’t forget Fish O’Mania weekend July 12-13 on Sky Sports.

Leeds water bailiff Lee Garrad with the kind of big money carp that has been targeted by thieves.

Anglers on edge after upturn in fish thefts