A NATIONAL angling chief wants fishing bailiffs to wear stab vests after a 53-year-old man was threatened at knife point.
Dilip Sarkar, fishery enforcement manager for the Angling Trust, spoke out after John Anderson, a bailiff for Burton Mutual Angling Club, was threatened and kicked by two men of Eastern European appearance after he confronted them over stealing fish from Branston Water Park on Monday.
Retired police officer, Mr Sarkar, said there is very often a ‘clash of culture’ as eastern Europeans fish differently.
He said: “They fish to kill, and we have an entirely different way, where we catch and release.
“In Britain, anglers need a rod and a permit licence and (foreigners) don’t understand this difference.”
Rado Papiewski, a Pole working for the Angling Trust, is integrating migrants to the English scene and is in the process of installing multi lingual signs, and educating through other avenues.
However, Mr Sarkar added: “It’s one thing not knowing the law of fishing in Britain but it is another thing to attack someone with a knife.
“I am setting up workshops for bailiffs where they are taught about the law, health and safety, risk assessment and conflict resolution.
“Other fishing clubs are considering wearing stab vests and would definitely encourage them because you never know who you are dealing with.
“(John’s attack) is an horrific incident but it is sadly unsurprising because society is what it is, volatile and unpredictable.”
The news comes as Mr Anderson, who spent Monday strapped to a spinal board in hospital, pleaded with the public not to turn the attack into a racism issue.
He said: “I really do not wish to be the catalyst for this type of behaviour. I have met a lot of East European anglers over the years and this is the first incident of aggression I have seen.
“Let us help and educate these anglers to our customs. What happened to me is, in my experience, not typical behaviour and the perpetrators need to be caught and punished properly by law. Burton Mutual has several members from overseas. Many of them have become my friends.”