River crime in the North East

Officers in Police Scotland’s North East Division continue to engage with those that live and work in our rural communities to identify and tackle crime on our rivers.

During 2020 Police and Water Bailiffs attended numerous calls regarding illegal activities on North East Rivers including poaching and illegal pearl mussel fishing.

Freshwater pearl mussels are rare in Scotland, mainly due to ongoing, illegal pearl fishing, poor water quality and habitat damage. The mussel’s over-exploitation for centuries is the primary reason for the massive historic decline in its numbers and range. Because of these threats, in Scotland, the species is on the brink of extinction in several rivers. Police Scotland are working with partners to tackle this important threat.

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During the quieter winter months our water ways are potentially more vulnerable to illegal activities due to rivers being closed to anglers and with less people engaging in recreational activities such as walking and canoeing.

Water Bailiffs will continue their regular patrols and Police Scotland urge members of the public to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information regarding River Crime should contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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