More than 100 new bailiffs will be joining the fight against illegal fishing and poaching across England and Wales, Angling Times can reveal.
Successful applicants from this year’s Angling Trust Voluntary Bailiff Service recruitment programme will be trained by policing and enforcement professionals to keep watch on fisheries and report incidents and suspicious activity to the Environment Agency and police.
Up to 20 Phase One volunteers will now be recruited in each of the six regions – the North East, North West, East, Midlands, South East and South West.
Dilip Sarkar MBE, the Angling Trust’s National Enforcement Manager, said: “Phase 1 Volunteer Bailiffs are the eyes and ears at the water’s edge, keeping watch on our precious fisheries.
“Over the years, the VBS has reported on a diverse range of incidents and is clearly a benefit to the wider community – in addition to supporting the EA and Police specifically in compliance and protecting fish and fisheries.”
The news has been welcomed by the Environment Agency, which relies heavily on the services of volunteers to assist in pinpointing key areas of illegal activity on the bank.
Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager with the EA, said: “A network of anglers able to provide good information is essential in directing our enforcement patrols to catch those who damage the sport through illegal activity.
“The support of enthusiastic volunteers is needed more than ever this year, as we look to trial a further increase in the level of engagement of selected volunteers to closely support enforcement operations in some new locations.”
More about the VBS
The Voluntary Bailiff Service is part of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service which is funded by the Environment Agency through fishing licence income.
Further information about the VBS can be found on the Angling Trust website www.anglingtrust.net/vbs and potential applicants are urged to read this and understand the role before applying.
Anyone wishing to apply should contact firstname.lastname@example.org and those selected will be invited to attend a mandatory induction day in their region this spring.
Previous enforcement experience is not essential but desirable, and all applicants must be of good character.