An unlicensed boat has been lifted out of the Oxford Canal and destroyed as part of a drive to recover unpaid licence fees.

British Waterways lifted the craft from the water at Nell Bridge Lock, near Adderbury, as part of a campaign against rogue boaters.

Boat owners must have a valid licence to keep a boat on inland waterways.

Last year, British Waterways served almost 5,000 notices on unlicensed vessels and recovered about £750,000 in unpaid fees.

Spokesman Chris Stanley said: "Two unlicensed boats were craned out of the water from Nell Bridge, on the Oxford Canal, and at Daventry, on the Grand Union Canal.

"Licence evasion is a bigger-than-average problem in the South East and is being addressed."

Mr Stanley said boat owners were given plenty of opportunity to comply by licensing their craft or removing it from the waterways.

He said: "If owners do not, then British Waterways has powers to remove the craft from the water.

"In order to keep a craft on the waterways owned and managed by British Waterways, owners must obtain a licence, similar to car tax."