Sunday, October 07, 2007

PAC man catches pike killers red-handed

Foreign immigrants were caught red-handed killing and removing pike from a Fenland drain today.

A PAC member fishing a land drain near Downham Market, Norfolk, saw three men arrive in a marroon Citroen Zsara Picasso as he was packing up after a morning session.

"They pulled a up a few yards from me and started fishing, as soon as they stopped one jumped out with a telescopic rod and started spinning," he said.

"I saw him hook one straight away, he had it on the bank flapping about and my first thought was does he want a hand with that.

"Then I saw him take it around the back of the car wrapped in a rag and shove it in the boot."

Almost immediately, one of the man's friends hooked another pike. It was dragged up the bank and unhooked with the aid of a boot on its head.

By now, the PAC member had called the club bailiff, who lives near the drain. When he arrived minutes later, they went up to confront the men.

"The bailiff got his card out and said this is a private water and you're trespassing and poaching. I'm going to call the police," the PAC man said.

"They said: 'We no speak English, no understand - we just fish.

"The bailiff said they had been seen putting pike in the boot of their car. They pleaded ignorant but as they were putting their gear in I could clearly see the outline of a pike in a plastic bag.

"When I pointed at it, they pushed me out of the way, shut the boot and drove off. There was nothing we could do - we couldn't physically stop them."

Police arrived soon after. One officer said he would have reported the men for trespass and poaching had they got there in time.

As is usual in rural Norfolk, there were just a few police on duty, with a large area to cover.

Police were given the number of the car and descriptions of the men. The PAC will also be passing details of the vehicle to club bailiffs in the area.

PAC chairman Colin Goodge said: "We'd urge people to phone the EA and police prior to approaching them. If you can hold a conversation with them and keep them there, the more chance there is of catching them."

A number of other incidents have been reported across the Fens this weekend, hours after ministers announced immigrants would be given welcome packs advising them on cultural differences, including a warning not to take fish for food.