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Angling Trust hosts inaugural Area Coordinators’
Conference with support from police and EA
The Angling Trust has hosted the
inaugural Voluntary Bailiff Service
Area Coordinators’ Conference, supported by Gloucestershire and West
Mercia Police, and the Environment
Thirty Area Coordinators from
across the country attended the event
held in Worcester on Saturday, 9
November, which covered a range of
topics including strategy, intelligence,
volunteering resources, Building
Bridges Project, social media and
organising joint patrols. There was
also a presentation on new policing
operational technology, including
drones and body-worn cameras.
The Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS)
at Phase 1, in which 500 volunteers
are ‘eyes and ears’ and trained to
report incidents and information to a
high evidential standard, is distributed throughout all six English
The VBS then subdivides those regions
into areas, overseen by
an Area Coordinator,
who liaises with Volunteer Bailiffs and the
Fisheries Enforcement
Support Service
Regional Enforcement
Area Coordinators
are volunteers and help
maintain regular communication with Volunteer Bailiffs,
cascading information and coordinating things like joint patrols with the
Environment Agency and Police, and
VBS contributions to inductions,
training and distributing information
to the angling community.
National Enforcement Manager
Dilip Sarkar MBE said: “Our Area
Coordinators are essential to the efficient and effective delivery of the
VBS. Last year we began providing
professional training, so this important Conference builds upon that,
helping create a sense of community
nationally amongst our ACs, providing an opportunity for networking,
sharing best practice and learning
more about the strategy and ongoing
work behind the scenes.
Rome was not built overnight, and
things take time – we are totally committed to the VBS being the best we
can be and providing the best and
most productive volunteering experience possible. This is further evidence
of our commitment to those endeavours. Further, ongoing, training will be
provided to all our volunteers as we
move forward. The fantastic thing
about the VBS is that the contribution
being made benefits the entire community and shows anglers and
angling in the best possible light. This
can only be good for angling as a
whole – and Area Coordinators are key to
PC Cath McDay and
Mel Campbell represented Gloucestershire
Police, presenting on
new policing operat i o n a l t e c h n o l o g y,
including drones and
body-worn cameras.
PC Cath McDay said:
“Drones are relatively
new to Gloucestershire
However, we look forward to using
them more often in the combatting of
rural crime, and it’s encouraging to
see the interest from the angling
community. I look forward to future
patrols with the VBS and EA along
the riverbanks and lakes. It was interesting to see the good work being
done by the VBS across the country
and what’s to come.”
PC Sarah Smith of West Mercia
Police said: “I found the day very
informative and was impressed at the
professionalism and enthusiasm of
the Angling Trust staff, members and
volunteers in tackling fisheries and
related crime.”
Warren Andrew, Area Coordinator
based in the North West region, said:
“It was fantastic to meet everyone,
the REMs and other ACs. Great
evening and a cracking conference
confirming the immense value of the
VBS. I am privileged to be part of the
ongoing positive change that the VBS
continues to bring to angling
throughout the country.”
Angling Trust National Volunteers
Manager Karen Sarkar said: “The
Conference was an invaluable opportunity for our volunteer Area Coordinators to discuss challenges and
share best practice face-to-face,
whilst receiving updates and further
training from the partnership, especially regarding the help and
resources the Angling Trust and FESS
can provide. It was both a totally positive and most memorable day.”
The Voluntary Bailiff Service is part
of the Fisheries Enforcement Support
Service, which is funded by English
freshwater fishing licence money
through the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Environment Agency. n
Fish Smarter…

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