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Meet the Fisheries Enforcement Support Services team

Dilip Sarkar MBE – National Enforcement Manager

Dilip Sarkar x550pxDilip Sarkar is a retired West Mercia Police officer with a background in CID, field intelligence and as an expert in ‘beat management’ – a partnership approach to achieving long-term solutions to ongoing problems; he has a number of commendations for personal courage, detective ability and integrity.

Dilip fully appreciated that many angling related offences actually fit firmly within the wider frameworks of Rural, Wildlife, Business, Hate and Organised Crime. His vision led to the Fisheries Enforcement Campaign - achieving a better understanding by the police and culminating in on-going partnership operations such as Operations Leviathan and Traverse, including such partners as the Environment Agency, Cefas and SmartWater.

Dilip fully understands that effective enforcement requires both intelligence and a holistic approach, to which end he believes it crucially important to raise awareness of the law and wider issues involved within the angling community and beyond.

A member of the England & Wales Poaching Priority Group, responsible for Project Poacher, he works closely with the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit. Dilip is also a professional historian and author of 40 well-received books (his first angling book ‘River Pike’ was published in 2015) and has worked extensively, on and off screen, on numerous TV and radio programmes. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. A lifelong and obsessed river angler, Dilip is a former President of the Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain and editor of ‘Pikelines’ magazine.

He is determined that the new Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, which includes the Voluntary Bailiff Service and ‘Building Bridges’ Project, will make a positive difference, providing essential support to both anglers and the Environment Agency – which remains the statutory lead on fisheries enforcement.


Nevin Hunter - Regional Enforcement Manager, South West

Nevin Hunter 550pxNevin retired in July 2014 after 30 years with Devon and Cornwall Police. A wildlife crime officer of vast experience, his investigations have included illegal egg collecting, trade in birds of prey, taxidermy, poaching of deer, fish and game, and the illegal poisoning of birds of prey. His final posting was as Detective Inspector and Head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit.

Nevin was awarded the UK Wildlife Enforcer of the Year title in 2001 and his commendations included one for his "leadership and dedication" in tackling wildlife crimes across Devon and Cornwall. Nevin also identified and highlighted to the UK government and the European Union the threat posed by the illegal rhino horn trade which in 2010 resulted in amended legislation across the EU.

Before joining the team as Regional Enforcement Manager for the South West, Nevin was an Angling Trust Key Volunteer for over a year, working on fisheries enforcement workshops, the Voluntary Bailiff Service inductions and Operation Leviathan.

Nevin said: "The professionalism demonstrated by the Angling Trust throughout my time with the National Wildlife Crime Unit was inspirational and I am delighted to now have the opportunity to work for such a forward-thinking organisation. I fished as a boy and am looking forward to getting more involved and back into angling, but anticipate being busy!"


Dave Lees - Regional Enforcement Manager, North West

David Lees x550pxDave recently retired from Greater Manchester after serving 30 years as a police officer. The first seven years of his career was with the Metropolitan Police where he was involved in two major incidents - the Broadwater Farm riots and the Kings Cross station fire where Dave was one of the first officers on the scene.

During his time with Greater Manchester Police, for several years Dave had responsibility for planning and commanding protected person escorts including members of the royal family, senior politicians, foreign dignitaries and high risk prisoners.

Dave has received numerous commendations throughout his career and has great experience of working with enforcement volunteers and migrant communities.

Dave said: "I love wildlife, the countryside and all forms of fishing which began for me when I was 10 years old. I am delighted to be working for the Angling Trust, combining my hobby with experience and skills gained from 30 years police service. I firmly believe in the Angling Trust's mission and look forward to being a part of that success."


Paul Thomas - Regional Enforcement Manager, Eastern England

Paul Thomas x550pxA former airborne soldier, a former detective constable with Gloucestershire Constabulary and latterly running a successful private investigations agency, Paul has an extensive background in investigation and enforcement.

He has received numerous commendations and decorations throughout his career including one for thorough investigations and successful prosecutions for street robbery offences in Gloucester city centre and another for "displaying tenacity and professionalism" during a search that led to the recovery and seizure of more than £83,000 from a prolific drug dealer.

Paul said: "I am honoured and truly proud to be part of the Angling Trust and working with the Environment Agency delivering a robust and effective angling enforcement campaign with positive outcomes for all anglers. The Building Bridges project and Voluntary Bailiff Service are the way forward for angling today, and as a truly passionate angler I am very excited by the opportunity to put something back into the hobby that has held me spellbound for more than 40 years."


Dave Wilkins - Regional Enforcement Manager, South East

Dave Wilkins SE REM x500pxDave Wilkins recently retired from Sussex Police after 30 years’ service as a detective inspector, having spent most of his service on CID, Special Branch and Major Crime teams. Prior to joining the police, he completed an ecology degree - and maintains a keen interest in all wildlife.

Dave’s lifelong interest in fishing began aged five, and he remains a passionate angler. He enjoys all types of angling, both salt and freshwater; his main interest, however, is pike fishing. Dave also collects vintage fishing tackle and regularly fishes with split-cane rods and centre-pin reels. Dave has been a Phase 1 Volunteer Bailiff for over three years and recently successfully completed Phase 2 training - so will be working voluntarily in direct support of the Environment Agency and empowered to check rod licences and deal with certain fisheries offences.


Mark Gregory - Regional Enforcement Manager, North East

Mark Gregory NE REM x550Mark Gregory is a recently retired South Yorkshire Police sergeant and Wildlife Crime Officer, previously the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service Enforcement Communications Manager.

Mark said: “I am a passionate angler with my own fishery, so totally committed to protecting fish and fisheries, taking over as Regional Enforcement Manager for the North East provides a more hands-on opportunity for me to work with our Volunteer Bailiffs and partners, maximising the benefits of my policing experience.

“I am already in post and really enjoying getting out there and on with the job. Anyone requiring advice in the North East regarding fisheries crime is very welcome to contact me and I will do all I can to help.”


Kevin Pearson - Regional Enforcement Manager, Midlands

Kevin Pearson x550pxKevin Pearson is a retired West Midlands Police inspector whose passion for angling started as a youngster fishing the River Severn at Bridgnorth and the Black Country canals. Kevin retired from the force in 2009 having served for just over 31 years and during that time received numerous commendations including one for his work with police forces in Germany, France and Netherlands gathering evidence on human trafficking. He then coordinated a surveillance and arrest operation which resulted in lengthy prison sentences for the perpetrators.

Kevin's interest in European languages led to him working with the French police and President Chirac over a number of days during a security operation for the G8 summit in the UK in 1998, and he has also worked closely with the Metropolitan Police on several diplomatic and security operations for heads of state and VIP visitors within the UK.

His passion for angling led to him becoming a member of the Birmingham Anglers' Association and he is currently the Superintendent Bailiff. Kevin is also a keen fly angler, particularly boat fishing, and has twice represented England Police in recent years. Kevin was also an Angling Trust Key Volunteer before joining the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, working on intelligence-gathering, delivering fisheries enforcement workshops and taking part in Operation Leviathan.

Kevin said: "My wide-ranging policing experience coupled with my post retirement work as a teacher in adult education have given me a solid foundation to take on this exciting and rewarding role as Regional Enforcement Manager for the Midlands region."


Gary Thomas - Intelligence Manager

Gary Thomas, Intelligence Manager x550pxGary Thomas – who joined the team in January 2017, is a retired West Mercia Police Detective Inspector and highly experienced intelligence practitioner. Gary now leads on setting up Information Sharing Agreements with partners, secure Criminal Justice System email, and collating and sharing incoming intelligence from the Voluntary Bailiff Service.

Importantly, Gary will also lead on Angling Alert, our cutting-edge, web-based, email and text fisheries crime alert system. Gary’s appointment is a big step forward.


Radoslaw Papiewski - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Manager

Radoslaw Papiewski with PikeAs a young man, Rado migrated from Poland to Britain in search of a better life – and worked very hard, in various jobs, to achieve his aim.

After completing HND in Business Management, at the City of Bath College he started his career in retail management. His passion for fishing, which was passed to him from his grandfather, accompanied his professional life all the way through.

Rado approached the British authorities for the funding of an educational programme to make migrants aware of our laws and conservation-based approach to try to prevent problems happening in the first place. Rado was able to set up the ‘Building Bridges Project’ and started working for the Angling Trust.

Since then, Rado and his small team of migrant volunteers have produced multi-lingual leaflets for the Angling Trust and Environment Agency, multi-lingual signage for fisheries, and worked very hard to integrate migrants into British angling clubs, breaking down barriers by holding matches and social events and, where necessary, working with the police and Environment Agency to collate intelligence on those who refuse to comply. Indeed, the Polish Anglers’ Association in Britain, which Rado and friends set up, goes from strength to strength and can only be considered a success story.

Rado, who is 33, said: "I am very honoured to be able to run Building Bridges Project and contribute to development of better integration between local and migrant anglers in the UK. I believe this is the only way forward if we want to preserve our future of fishing.’’


Martynas Pranaitis - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Officer

Martynas Pranitis x550pxMartynas has been an Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiff for over three years, soon after the Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiff Service was launched in South East England to help protect our fisheries.

Martynas said: “I was born and grew up in Lithuania in a small city with an 820 acre lake right on my doorstep. It was while I was still a teenager that seeing the effects of poaching on this lake influenced my decision to study Environmental Sciences and Ecology.

"After I became a student the first thing I did was visit the Lithuanian Environment Agency and apply to become a Volunteer Bailiff. Because of my enthusiasm, knowledge and patience I soon qualified to became a warranted Volunteer Bailiff with almost the same powers as a Fisheries Enforcement Officer, working in the Environmental Protection Department’s 'Live Nature Unit' which has responsibility for water and hunting related poaching activity.”

Martynas, who graduated with a Masters, added: “The only way forward is for European communities to embrace the law and culture of their adopted countries - as I have. I’m passionate about fish and fishing and protecting our fisheries, and very much look forward to this opportunity to work in the Angling Trust Building Bridges project and assist with its vital work.”


Janusz Kansik - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Officer

Janusz Kansik x550pxJanusz came to the UK in 2010, first working as a chef then becoming a community centre receptionist owing to insufficient fishing time! Since then, Janusz has had much more time to spend on the banks of the rivers and lakes across England.

After a few years, Janusz started to make coaching videos and posted on YouTube which gave him a sense of satisfaction from sharing his new skills with others. Janusz said: "A lot of people in the UK helped me make my skills better and better. They invested their time in helping me, which was simply amazing, so I decided to help others as well, simple as that.”

After another year of sharing videos, he made one more step forward: joining the Voluntary Bailiff Service. Janusz is an active Phase 1 Volunteer Bailiff on his local lakes and rivers, supporting Environment Agency fisheries enforcement officers in Oxfordshire. In March 2018, Janusz qualified as a Level 1 Angling Coach.

Now a full-time Project Officer in the Building Bridges team, Janusz said “This is a unique opportunity to make an even greater contribution to the wonderful sport of angling – education and integration is key. I am very excited at this opportunity to work with like-minded anglers and bring new, exciting, ideas to fruition. It is our duty to be there for those who share the passion. It will be my pleasure to help support the wider angling community – and ‘build bridges’.”



Szymon Skoczen - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Officer

Szymon Skoczen x 550Keen angler Szymon was born in Poland and, like many fellow countrymen, came to England 11 years ago to look for work and a better life. He has been interested in fishing since childhood and spent most of his free time on the local lake or river next to his grandmother’s house.

After relocating to England, Szymon searched for information about fishing here. He said: "I spoke to many anglers who shared my passion and directed me to the correct information. A few years later I joined the Polish Anglers’ Association, finding a lot of useful information and people willing to help with understanding British angling culture and way of fishing.

"I took part in many competitions, mainly to develop my skills and meet like-minded anglers. I am a strong believer of integration and education, fully supporting our Angling Trust Building Bridges Project - which is why I became part of it. I hope I will be able to contribute to the integration processes and grow project activities in the East Anglia region, where I live."


Karen Sarkar – National Volunteers Manager

Karen Sarkar x550px

Having been an Angling Trust key volunteer for several years, in 2016 Karen joined the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service as our administrator, and in 2018 became the Angling Trust's full-time National Volunteers Manager.

Having spent several years researching volunteering in detail, Karen is now providing Best Practice advice to the angling community regarding all aspects of volunteering, ensuring that this experience is delivered ethically, legally and effectively.

Karen has caught many big fish, including river pike to well over twenty pounds, and is an artist whose work has been featured in angling books and magazines.


Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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