Environment Agency enforcement officers were out in force over the May Day bank holiday weekend in bid to catch the few anglers who fish without a rod licence.

Every year, nearly a million anglers fish legally, respecting each other and the sport. The money they pay to buy a licence supports fish, fisheries and fishing and protects the future of the sport. A small number of anglers refuse to buy a licence, cheating the sport and their fellow anglers.

Over the three-day weekend enforcement officers checked 124 anglers fishing at 34 locations across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Officers used their local knowledge to catch offenders and in total, 14 were reported for fishing without a valid licence.

For the minority who flout the rules, the most common offence is fishing without a valid licence, which can land perpetrators with a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record.

Overall, last year, Cambridgeshire enforcement officers checked 3,260 licences and reported 119 for fishing illegally.

Environment Agency's Sarah Chare, national head of fisheries said; "We are passionate about making the sport of angling the best it can be and we take our job of protecting angling, fisheries and the environment very seriously. The vast majority of anglers who fish legally deserve to see those who flout the law brought to account. To that criminal minority our message is clear; we won't hesitate to take action to stop illegal fishing.

Any angler aged 12 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A full rod licence costs from just £27 (concessions available). You can buy your rod licence online from the Post Office, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.