The 2012 Annual Bailiffs Conference, held on March 13 and 14 at Aviemore, was testimony to the increasing co-operation between river bailiffs and the police in tackling wildlife crime. The agenda included five presentations from police wildlife crime officers aimed at enhancing the skills of bailiffs in gathering evidence in pursuit of prosecutions for salmon poaching, as well as presentations on thermal imaging cameras and Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) Licensing

Roger Knight, Director of the Spey District Salmon Fishery Board (hosts of this year’s conference), said: “Here in the Spey District we are fortunate to have excellent relations with both Grampian Police and Northern Constabulary. The conference has drawn on these close links in order to improve the professional capabilities of water bailiffs throughout Scotland, who are on the frontline in terms of protecting and conserving our iconic migratory fish stocks. High standards in areas such as intelligence handling and surveillance are vital if we are to maximise the number of successful prosecutions brought against salmon poaching criminals”.

65 bailiffs attended the conference. Brian Davidson, Operations Director for ASFB, commented: “This important event in the bailiffing calendar grows year by year. Part of its continuing success is the fact that the location changes annually and thus the local board’s priorities can be highlighted and prioritised on the agenda. For example this year the Spey Board, as well as drawing upon its experience of and contacts in law enforcement, has detailed its reasons for reducing its stocking programme. We are indebted to the Spey Board for hosting the conference”.

The Annual Bailiffs Conference is a joint initiative of ASFB and the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Fisheries Management.