Extra patrols have been taking place around the River Itchen as part of a crackdown on illegal fishing. 

Police in Bishopstoke say they have been patrolling the River Itchen and Riverside area in Bishopstoke. 

It follows a spike in recent reports of theft of fishing rights. 

A spokesperson wrote on social media: "Fishing without the permission of the owner of the fishing rights is a criminal offence under Schedule 1, Theft Act 1968.

"As well as requiring permission from the fishing rights owner, a rod licence if often required."

READ MORE: Illegal River Itchen fisherman fined after catching salmon and trout

Police patrol River Itchen at Bishopstoke to crackdown on illegal fishingPolice patrol River Itchen at Bishopstoke to crackdown on illegal fishing (Image: Eastleigh Police/Facebook)

The extra patrols come after a fisherman was fined for illegally catching salmon and trout in the River Itchen. 

Alex Ferrucci was hit with a £100 fine in April after he admitted to fishing in Bishopstoke without a licence. 

Just weeks later Owen Stockting of Matheson Road in Lordshiland Darren Broadhurst, 47, of Carey Road in Thornhill were fined more than £600 for fishing without licences in the Itchen and Testwood Lake. 

The law states that you must have a rod fishing licence when fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line in England. 

Those flouting the rules could be hit with a fine of up to £2,500.