It has been just over 6 months since my colleagues and I were appointed, and, I must admit, it’s been a very busy time for us all. My region includes all of the North East and all of the counties of Yorkshire. Time spent getting out and about across the region, meeting anglers, Environment Agency officers, the police and other partners has been, and is, essential – and always as rewarding as the reception I get.
So, what has been happening in the region? Well firstly, we held our first regional induction day in Darlington on March 5th for our newly appointed Volunteer Bailiffs. 28 people attended and all have been out there, as the eyes and ears of the angling community. Many reports have been made to the EA and the police of illegal fishing, but also of other matters, such as Wildlife Crime, also two stolen vehicles that were recovered as well as an incident of possible pollution. So it’s not just Angling Crime that these guys and girls are making a difference to and clear evidence of the link that exists between angling crimes and other crimes.
The Volunteers have also been put on joint patrols and find the experience very rewarding and have made many good local contacts
I have received a great welcome from the Police and the Environment Agency within the region and have visited many police forces to highlight illegal fishing and fish theft. I also highlight the linked crimes to them and as a result, Northumbria, Durham, Cleveland and North Yorkshire police all signed up to Operation TRAVERSE, which is working well. Northumbrian Water, with many trout and coarse fisheries within the region have all now got the TRAVERSE signs up as well.
Many clubs, fisheries and Rivers Trusts have been welcoming of Operation TRAVERSE and the multi-agency approach to tackling illegal fishing and fish theft. North Yorkshire being a prime example. We have been able to spread the message via National Radio, which I have a face for and also we have filmed a piece for Crimewatch Roadshow. This has and will hopefully spread the message to fish legally
The future for the region is bright, West Yorkshire Police will join TRAVERSE on the 13th June and South Yorkshire have been actively engaged in multi-agency patrols and will follow. It’s been a challenge, but a very rewarding one and something that I am pleased to be a part of. Be wrong not to finish with a mention that reporting matters is key and I am hoping this message is getting across. It’s 0800 807060 for the EA and 101 for the Police
As for my fishing, well, once things settle down, I am going to be out there. My area has great variety and I am hoping to get amongst it, very soon… tight lines!
Giles Evans, NE Regional Enforcement Manager. email@example.com