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Dorset police on the hunt for fishing thieves
THIEVES who stole thousands of pounds worth of nets and fishing equipment are being hunted by police.
Bins of trammel, bass and sole nets were stolen from the pontoons and several boats along the harbourside in repeated raids in recent weeks.
Dorset Police are investigating and are currently reviewing CCTV.
But fishermen say they are ‘frustrated’ by the thefts and because they feel the CCTV coverage of the harbourside is ‘inadequate’.
A spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said that although he sympathised with the loss of the nets, there was ‘adequate’ CCTV in place at the harbourside and the council’s budget could not stretch to more.
Bob Summerhayes who owns the boat Sherpa has lost four bins of different nets.
He said: “It’s not a nice thing to happen.
“It’s frustrating. The trouble is we haven’t got anywhere secure to put our gear. The harbour doesn’t have a secure place to put it.”
Andy Alcock from the Weymouth and Portland licensed boatmen’s and fishermen’s association also had gear and nets stolen from his boat Waikiki.
He said there had been numerous incidents over the last few years in which equipment and fish had been stolen but no-one had been brought to justice even though there is CCTV in town and on the harbourside.
He said: “As far as the association is concerned the current system is inadequate for purpose.”
He said he believed the thieves were targeting certain makes of nets.
Mr Alcock said: “I think they are getting blasé and cocky.
“Nothing’s happening so they are coming back.”
He added: “We think enough is enough – something has to be done about it.”
Mr Summerhayes agreed that he believed the CCTV was ‘inadequate’.
The fishermen said they would like to see the CCTV improved around the harbourside.
Councillor Geoff Petherick, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council spokesman for community safety, said that the harbourside CCTV was adequate and although he sympathised with the fishermen – and more CCTV cameras would provide greater coverage – due to financial pressures there were no plans for additional CCTV cameras.
He said: “I sympathise with the fishermen over the loss of the nets and I would urge anyone with any information to contact Dorset Police.”
He added that CCTV was in place providing coverage of the harbourside and CCTV was being reviewed to see if there were any images that could assist police.
Richard White from Dorset Police said the Marine Section were investigating.
He said: “We are reviewing CCTV and are pursuing lines of inquiry.”
He urged members of the public and fishermen who may have seen anything suspicious around the harbourside to get in touch with the police on 101.