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share information and to support fisheries enforcement in the area. Andy is
a fine ambassador, not only for the
VBS and the Angling Trust, but for
angling in general.
Chris Thirtle, Area Coordinator,
Since joining the VBS in February
2016, Chris, a retired RAF officer and
fighter pilot, has shown he possesses
great leadership skills, which he uses
to great effect to coordinate and communicate clearly in his role as Area
Coordinator for the East Midlands. He
has forged close links with police and
the Environment Agency through
trust and mutual respect and has
invited them to visit many North Derbyshire fisheries and meet their owners. Chris was instrumental in gaining
an introduction to the Derbyshire
Police and Crime Commissioner
which resulted in Derbyshire Constabulary signing up to Operation
Traverse, the multi-agency initiative
tackling illegal fishing and fish theft.
Chris attends Angling Trust forums,
supports VBS training whenever possible and is a regular user of the VBS
website, submitting comprehensive
patrol and incident logs demonstrating his eye for detail and evidence. In
turn, this encourages his team members to follow his example. He has
also shown further initiative by working closely with the Environment
Agency to map out river sections
where VBS can prioritise in their role
as ‘eyes and ears’ for routine patrols.
Wayne Thomas, Volunteer
Bailiff, North Manchester
When Wayne joined the VBS in 2016,
he was already an active member of
Little Britain Anglers, a Bury-based
club that manages several recovering
sections of industrial rivers and
canals. He regularly patrols these
stretches, which suffer some of the
worst crime, pollution and anti-social
behaviour issues in the North West
region. Wayne also attends working
parties to improve the environment
for all, not just anglers, and always
attends group and joint patrols with
the Environment Agency or police.
Wayne works hard to improve his
angling knowledge and skills and
recently passed his Level 2 Coaching
qualification, along with Safeguarding
and First Aid training. Wayne has
achieved all of this whilst managing
to overcome a serious disability: he is
profoundly deaf.
Keith Allsopp, Area Coordinator,
South Lancashire & Ribble
Keith has been an active member of
VBS since 2016 and will always assist
at training events and group or joint
He visits fishing tackle shops and
commercial fisheries in his area to
promote the good work of the VBS
and the Angling Trust, and this year
helped to run a display at the Northern Angling Show where he did a fantastic job in engaging with different
types and ages of anglers. A keen
angler and environmentalist, Keith
regularly patrols the middle and lower
sections of the Lancaster Canal, submitting invaluable intelligence
Graeme Holmes, Volunteer
Bailiff, Durham
Graeme has been part of the VBS for
over two years and has excelled at
the role, performing as an Area Coordinator until recently returning to
work full time. He is an excellent volunteer and reports regularly from his
patrols in the North East.
Ted Pocock, Volunteer Bailiff,
West Yorkshire
Ted was part of the first North East
VBS induction back in 2016 and ever
since has excelled in his role, with
many reports and patrols from his
area, West Yorkshire. He gets involved
with many joint patrols, works well
with his Area Coordinator and regularly submits intelligence reports.
Louis Goodman, Area Coordinator, East Anglia West
Louis has been a staunch and valued
supporter of the Angling Trust’s work
since his formal induction into the
VBS in October 2016. He remains so
today since his elevation to joint VBS
Area Co-Ordinator in the East Anglia
West (formerly Cambridgeshire and
Bedfordshire) region, with responsibility for the volunteer bailiffs based
in and around Cambridgeshire.
Louis maintains high levels of commitment and confidence amongst the
volunteer bailiffs he oversees and, testament to the sterling effort that he
has put in, there has not been a single
negative comment from either the
bailiffs or empowered staff in the
Despite health issues, Louis has
fully engaged with VBS phase 1, regularly recording patrols, and has also
cultivated a working relationship with
both the Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officers and Cambridgeshire Constabulary Rural Crime
Action Team (RCAT) that has yielded
regular joint patrols on waters in the
area identified as problematic
through local knowledge and intelligence.
Peter Wilcock, Volunteer Bailiff,
Peter has been a volunteer since
February 2017 and has taken an
active part in the VBS, attending
organised patrols with the police and
Environment Agency, and supporting
and helping at VBS inductions and
Fisheries Enforcement Workshops
within the South East region. Peter
has also taken a particular interest in
the River Itchen and the Itchen Navigation, actively patrolling the river
and reporting a number of incidents
to both the police and Environment
Alfie Mason, Volunteer Bailiff,
South Downs
Alfie has been a volunteer since October 2016, taking a very active part in
patrolling his local River Uck in East
Sussex. He has developed an excellent working relationship with local
Environment Agency fisheries staff in
relation to reporting incidents and
highlighting problems, especially in
relation to waste and pollution from a
site in Uckfield. Alfie has supported
joint patrols with the police and Environment Agency and given up his
spare time to help at VBS inductions
and Fisheries Enforcement Workshops in the South East.
Paul Fitzmaurice, Volunteer
Bailiff, South West
Since joining the VBS in February
2016 Paul has fully embraced its philosophy and consistently provided
good quality patrols. He has built
good relationships with local tackle
shops, angling clubs and at local fishing seminars, which have raised the
profile of the VBS in the South West.
Paul has also supported multi-agency
meetings with the EA, Police and the
Angling Trust at forums with local
anglers as well as supporting work
with BT Sport to raise the profile of
the VBS.
Graham Nicol, Volunteer Bailiff,
South West
Graham became a Volunteer Bailiff in
April 2017 and actively patrols and
consistently submits reports.
Although often isolated, he patrols
over a wide area and keeps his
Regional Enforcement Manager
updated on any issues he comes
across. He is a perfect example of the
VBS ethos of using ‘eyes and ears’ to
help protect angling.


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