POLICE are warning all anglers not to fish on private land unless they have permission after alarming cases of theft of fish and damage to a fishery.

Illegal ‘anglers’ in Kent cost a Stour Valley Fishing Complex (pictured above) £8,000 through theft of carp to eat, and damage.

Police sergeant Paul Barrell said: “If anyone saw anything suspicious I would ask them to contact us.

“I would like to remind anglers that it is an offence to fish without the proper licence, and it can be considered theft if you try to remove fish from privately-owned water without permission.”

Anyone with info about this incident is asked to contact Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting ZY/27465/16.

A spokesman for Stour Valley Fishing Complex where the thefts took place explained: “People have been coming down at night breaking through the fences onto the Match Lake, catching fish and cooking them on BBQs.

“It’s been happening for a couple of months and we reckon the fish to be worth £4-5,000 plus the cost of repairing the fence damage and associated vandalism.

“We have managed to give some car registration numbers to the Police and hope there will be arrests,” he added.

Chris Logsdon, owner of Mid Kent Fisheries, who have venues nearby, said: “We haven’t been affected because we employ so many bailiffs, but with individual fish being worth as much as £6,000, fish theft is a problem that really has to be stopped.”