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Angling Trust's Building Bridges project supports
West Midlands Police in tackling modern slavery
The Angling Trust’s Building Bridges
Project Manager Janusz Kansik gave
a keynote speech to police from
across UK and Europe at a major
event on modern slavery. Organised
by West Midlands Police, the European Community Seminar aimed to
encourage joint working and a multiagency approach to tackling modern
slavery and human trafficking and
was attended by over 100 delegates
in Birmingham.
Janusz was able to highlight that
via the common interest of fishing
there are ways to interact with communities that are often hard to reach.
With his multi-lingual staff understanding the different European cultures, they can form better relations
and overcome the language barrier.
Other organisations attending the
seminar included Barnardo's and the
Polish Priest Community from Coventry who were very impressed with the
project’s small but dedicated team
working on educating and integrating
migrant communities.
Modern slavery is often a hidden
crime, but the impact can be devastating for the victims. It includes slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory
labour and human trafficking. The
police cannot tackle modern slavery
alone and they rely on the involvement of other organisations, such as
the Building Bridges project.
Jason Grove, West Midlands Police
Regional Modern Slavery Coordinator
said: “Janusz delivered an excellent
presentation on the roles of his
agency and links to the wider community that the Building Bridges
team are continually developing. His
input complemented the agenda well,
which had lots of inputs from police
that related to linked criminality. Just
as Building Bridges interacts through
fishing, other delegates at the event
said they are keen to see how they
could use similar tactics to engage
with their local communities via family sporting events or national independence community day. We look
forward to working with Janusz and
the wider Angling Trust and Fisheries
Enforcement Support Service in
Janusz Kansik said: “Our Project
Officers clearly understand how
important their roles are. They are
there to help the migrant and British
communities integrate with each
other. Our involvement in this semi14 Big Carp
nar and partnership with the Policing
Project on Modern Slavery & Human
Trafficking is clear evidence of the
high professional regard policing
partners have for the Fisheries
Enforcement Support Serviceapproach, based upon PIER: Prevention,
Intelligence, Enforcement and Reassurance. Building Bridges contributes
to all of these outcomes and as a forward thinking initiative again shows
angling in a modern and positive
light. We can help raise awareness of
modern slavery in our day-to-day
work, because statistically the
migrant communities from Eastern
Europe are especially at risk. This is
another important partnership, which
we are proud to be part of.”
The Building Bridges project is part
of the Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement
Support Service which is funded by
fishing licence income through the
Angling Trust’s National Angling
Strategic Services contract with the
Environment Agency. n
Fish farmer fined after admitting
theft of carp from country park's
A fish farmer and his father have been
ordered to pay over £1,300 after they
admitted stealing carp from a country
park’s pond. David Champion, 31, of
Woking, Surrey, and proprietor of
Meadow Farm Fishery in Alton,
Hampshire, and Mark Champion, 62,
of Aldershot, Hampshire, were caught
poaching fish following a joint operation at Brookwood Country Park carried out by Goldsworth Park Angling
Club and Surrey Police.
The club conducted nighttime
observations after patches of weed
and mud appeared along the banks of
the pond without explanation over
several nights in March and April of
this year. When club bailiffs challenged the pair, they discovered carp
in buckets and in a tank on their vehicle and reported the theft of fish to the
police. The Champions were also
recorded on CCTV, which had been
set up earlier at the Country Park by
Woking Borough Council following a
request from PC Sharon Chruszcz of
Surrey Police who had been concerned by reports of poaching.
PC Sharon Chruszcz led the investigation, which resulted in both men
being charged with five offences
under Schedule 1 of the Theft Act and
a further five offences of taking fish
contrary to the Salmon & Freshwater
Fisheries Act. Both men pleaded
guilty to all offences at Guildford
Magistrates Court on Tuesday 22
October. David Champion was fined
£155 for the theft offences, £460 for
the SAFFA offences and ordered to
pay £46 to Victim Services, £85 costs
to the Crown Prosecution Service and
£250 compensation to Goldsworth
Park Angling Club. Mark Champion
was ordered to pay £85 costs to the
Crown Prosecution Service, £30 to

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