blank
Connect with us

Natural Resources Wales

Environment body says CCTV camera vandalism put over 200 Pontarddulais homes at increased risk of flooding

Published

on

A person filmed damaging equipment used to monitor vital flood defences in Pontarddulais made the town more vulnerable to flooding, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said today (21 March 2022).

The individual was filmed pulling a CCTV camera from its pole and throwing it into a river at the flood storage reservoir upstream of the town that reduces the risk of flooding to 224 residential and 22 non-residential properties.

Advertisement

The scheme stores water upstream at times of high river flows, which reduces the flow of the Afon Dulais into the town. It successfully stored water during heavy rainfall in Autumn 2021, which significantly reduced the flood risk to the area.

CCTV enables NRW incident duty officers to monitor the scheme and check for build-up of debris. The offender was filmed removing the camera on 11 January.

Gareth Richards, NRW Asset Performance Team Leader said, “CCTV cameras allow us to monitor the condition of our flood defences and act quickly if there is a malfunction or obstruction. This means we can easily make sure that the scheme designed to reduce flood risk to Pontarddulais is in good condition and is ready to be put into action at a moment’s notice.

“In damaging our monitoring capability, the offender could have made Pontarddulais more vulnerable to flooding. The damage meant we had to send officers to the site to monitor the defence during recent wet weather, putting our incident response teams under additional pressure.”

The camera has since been replaced and the scheme is in good working order.

Advertisement

Natural Resources Wales declined to share the footage of the incident as it was part of an ongoing Police investigation.

Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact South Wales Police and refer to Crime Reference Number 2200022223.

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

Published

on

By

A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

Advertisement

Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

Advertisement

Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Carmarthen

Carmarthen illegal angler must pay £3k after court no-show

Published

on

By

After failing to attend two court hearings, a Carmarthenshire man has been found guilty of fishing offences at Llanelli Magistrates Court and has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 in fines and costs.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) prosecuted Gavin Davies of 4 Heol Spurrell, Carmarthen after he was witnessed by an NRW Enforcement Officer and a Dyfed Powys Police (DPP) Wildlife Crime Police Officer catching an adult salmon on the Wenallt fishing beat of the River Tywi, by deliberately using an illegal barbed fishing hook.

Advertisement

The incident took place on 17 September 2021.

It is a legal requirement in Wales, that any salmon caught are released alive back into the river and that anglers who target migratory fish such as salmon and sea trout (sewin) must use de-barbed or barbless fishing hooks.

Mr Davies, who had caught the salmon by the time he was approached by the officers, was attempting to put the fish back into the river. He showed a very poor catch and release practice, which would have contributed to the death of the fish if it had not already died due to the damage caused by the illegal barbed hook.

The fish was seen floating down the river immediately after being released by Mr Davies.

The damage to the gills of the salmon caused by Davies’ illegal barbed hook (Image: NRW)

After the dead salmon was recovered from the river, officers witnessed fatal gill damage injuries to the salmon that were caused by the barbed hook used by Mr Davies. The NRW Officer instructed Mr Davies to de-barb and flatten the barb on his fishing hook, which he duly did.

Mr Davies made no attempt to attend his first summons to Llanelli Magistrates Court hearing and also made no effort to attend the second hearing which was re-arranged for him on 22 April 2022.

Advertisement

The case was made against Mr Davies in his absence, and he was found guilty by the court Magistrates.

The court fined him the maximum amount available to them for the charge and awarded NRW the full costs of the investigation.

The fine, costs and victim surcharge totalled to £2,917.91.

Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “This incident is a case study in how not to fish for migratory fish such as salmon and sea trout. Mr Davies was experienced and well versed in the angling byelaws, but still knowingly used an illegal method to catch the salmon. Mr Davies displayed shockingly poor technique in trying to release the salmon and showed no respect for fish welfare.

“He represents a very small portion of the angling community on the Tywi catchment, and I urge anyone who isn’t sure of the angling rules, or of the best practice catch & release techniques to visit our website.

Advertisement

“Every single salmon that reaches its spawning beds is highly important to the river Tywi catchment and to the passionate angling communities who visit.

“The female ‘hen’ salmon that died because of Mr Davies’ actions may have contributed nearly 5000 eggs if it had spawned in the higher reaches of the Tywi catchment. These lost salmon eggs represent an important loss for a river catchment which is already not meeting its spawning targets for successful future fish stocks.

“I would like to thank our Dyfed Powys Police Wildlife Crime Officer for his continued help within our fisheries enforcement teams and also in prosecuting this case.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Carmarthenshire

NRW go after ill-gotten gains of 20-year illegal poaching operation ringleader

Published

on

By

Natural Resources Wales made an application on 19 April to Swansea Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to confiscate ill-gotten financial gains made from a 20-year illegal poaching operation.

The application looks to confiscate money made by Emlyn Rees from poaching fish on the River Teifi.

Advertisement

The application was signed by the Judge and a final sentencing hearing will take place on 1 July 2022.

Rees was the ringleader of a group of eight men who were involved in a 20-year poaching operation in the River Teifi. Five pleaded guilty to illegal fishing charges at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on 4 April.

Ben Wilson, NRW Principal fisheries Advisor said: “Salmon and sea trout are iconic species in Wales and are valued by fisherman and the wider public as indicators of a healthy river environment. But, put simply, there are not enough adult fish returning to our rivers to sustain stocks at their current levels or to prevent further decline.

“The conservation status of salmon and sea trout means that any illegal fishing is a substantial threat for those vulnerable stocks. Despite their declining abundance, these recent cases show that they are still the target of illegal activity in Wales.

“This investigation demonstrates how NRW – working with local police and with community intelligence – are able to catch and prosecute such cases. The fines levied by the court so far also show the serious financial consequences offenders face if caught.”

Advertisement

The investigation was triggered after NRW Enforcement Officers were patrolling a stretch of the River Teifi near Cenarth and found that a gill net was illegally set in the river. They decided to monitor the area overnight.

At 5am the next morning, a person wearing dark clothing was seen retracting the net and was identified as Emlyn Rees, a person known to the enforcement officers and who has three previous convictions for illegal fishing offences.

Although he fled the scene by jumping into the river, he was later arrested, and his home was searched. The outcome of the search was the basis for the rest of the investigation and implicated his co-defendants.

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News