|Dilip Sarkar MBE– National Enforcement Manager
Dilip 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.
He fully appreciated that many angling related offences actually fit firmly within the wider frameworks of Rural, Wildlife, Business, Hate and Organised Crime, his vision leading 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 Sarkar 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 forty 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 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 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.
He 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.
Nevin has been an Angling Trust Key Volunteer for over a year, working on fisheries enforcement workshops, the Voluntary Bailiff Service inductions and Operation Leviathan.
Nevin, who is 55, 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
Dave 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, who is 54, 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
As a former member of the armed forces, a 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, who is 50, 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 spell-bound for more than 40 years."
|Dave Wilkins - SE Regional Enforcement Manager
Dave Wilkins recently retired from Sussex Police after thirty 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 fresh water; 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 EA and empowered to check rod licences and deal with certain fisheries offences.
|Giles Evans - Regional Enforcement Manager, North East
Giles had a 30 year career in the police force and recently retired from Northumbria Police as a detective, having previously served with Dyfed-Powys.
He has a wealth of experience concerning serious crime investigations and intelligence gathering, and his many commendations included some for investigating and prosecuting gangs involved in rural crime offences and tackling an armed robber.
Giles, who is 50, said: "I worked on many cases affecting the rural community, so am acutely aware of the importance of this neglected area of policing, and have run investigations working with Special Constabulary volunteers. In my spare time, I am a keen angler, cyclist and take my gundog beating on various country estates in Northumberland - so the countryside is very important to me. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to continue making a difference."
|Kevin Pearson - Regional Enforcement Manager, Midlands
Kevin 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 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 has been an Angling Trust Key Volunteer since early this year, working on intelligence-gathering, delivering fisheries enforcement workshops and taking part in Operation Leviathan.
Kevin, who is 56, 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. I am very much looking forward to this new challenge."
|Gary Thomas - Intelligence Manager
The Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Support Service now has an Intelligence Manager – Gary Thomas – who joined the team in January 2017. Retired West Mercia Police Detective Inspector Gary Thomas is a highly experienced intelligence practitioner who 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 and we are delighted to welcome him to our close-knit and dedicated team.
|Radoslaw Papiewski - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Manager
As 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 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 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 is also a member of Crawley Angling Society and does all he can to assist the club and its members. Martynas says: “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.”
|Patrycja Bury - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Officer
Patrycja came to the UK couple of years ago with her family and has always been fascinated in nature, landscape and photography, but her real hobby is spending time on the bank with a fishing rod. Patrycja says: ‘’I’ve been fishing since I was a little girl and my father used to take me very often. It was strange for me because while my friends were playing with dolls, I played with a rod and reel! I clearly remember how much time I spent beside the small river flowing past my garden - fantastic memories.’’ Now Patrycja works for the Angling Trust as a Building Bridges Officer and added “My goal is integrate anglers and prove that people with the same passion can find a common language”.
Patrycja has her children hooked on fishing too and teaches them how to fish responsibly and according to the rules. Patrycja explained “It is my aim to teach my children what catch and release means and how important it is.”
|Szymon Skoczen - Angling Trust Building Bridges Project Officer
My name is Szymon Skoczen and I am a Polish-born angler. I came to England about eleven years ago, and like many of my fellow countryman started to look for work and a better life. I have been interested in fishing since childhood – I spent most of my free time on the local lake or river next to my grandmother’s house. After relocating to England I searched for information about fishing here. 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 become 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 - Fisheries Enforcement Support Service Administration Officer
Karen is a passionate and successful angler in her own right, and a long-time Angling Trust member. For over three years she voluntarily administered the South East VBS Pilot Project, and is now the FESS part-time Administration Officer, processing VBS applications, maintaining accurate records and providing support to the organisation of VBS inductions and Fisheries Enforcement Workshops. Although Karen’s professional background is in administration, she is also an accomplished artist whose work has been featured in and on several angling books. Anyone wishing to apply to the VBS should contact Karen on