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Apply now to join the Voluntary Bailiff Service and make a difference in the fight against fisheries crime


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The Angling Trust is now recruiting Phase 1 Volunteer Bailiffs to join the highly successful and widely respected Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS) in supporting the Environment Agency and Police in the ongoing fight against fisheries crime and illegal fishing.

Up to 15 successful applicants will be trained by policing and enforcement professionals in each of the six enforcement regions – North East, North West, Midlands, East, South East and South West – to keep watch on fisheries and report incidents and suspicious activity to a high evidential standard to both the Environment Agency and Police.

However, no further applications are required in the East, South East and Midlands regions as the quota has now been filled.

The VBS is part of the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service (FESS) which is funded by the Environment Agency through fishing licence income.

Dilip Sarkar MBE, the Angling Trusts National Enforcement Manager, said: “We have places for a maximum of 15 new recruits in all of our six enforcement regions but no longer need fresh applications from the South East, East or Midlands due to the positive response we have already received from anglers.

"What many people may not realise is that we are capped at 500 Phase 1 volunteers so we can only recruit to maintain that number as and when existing volunteers’ life priorities change and they move on, providing others a chance to enjoy this unique volunteering opportunity. There is an application and selection process, and volunteers must attend a mandatory induction and training day in April, May or June 2020, held in partnership with the Environment Agency and Police.

“At Phase 1, volunteers are ‘eyes and ears’, trained to report what they see and hear to a high evidential standard. Preferably, applicants should have some enforcement related experience, but this is not essential as training is provided. Good character and enthusiasm coupled with the ability to work as part of a team within prescribed boundaries is crucial, however, which helps ensure that the VBS continues to make such a terrific contribution.”

Gary Thomas, the Angling Trusts National Intelligence Manager, said: “Today, all modern enforcement is Intelligence-led with incoming information helping to target known problem areas and individuals. We have a bespoke intelligence-recording system, enabling us to securely and legally record and share incoming information from the VBS with the Environment Agency and our policing partners. We have an excellent relationship with the Agency’s Intelligence Unit and an impressive conversion rate from incoming reports to analysed and processed intelligence logs shared via our system.”

Graeme Storey, Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “The VBS network contributes to the evidence base, shaping our fisheries enforcement activities to where they are most needed. Active, trained volunteers increase our enforcement footprint and ensure that we pick up information from a wide range of waters, allowing us to target vulnerable locations and protect fish stocks.”

Anyone wishing to express an interest in applying to the VBS should contact Angling Trust National Volunteers Manager Karen Sarkar - - as soon as possible and successful applicants will then be invited to attend a mandatory induction day in their region this spring.

Further information about the VBS can be found here and potential applicants are urged to read this and understand the role before applying.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
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Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

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